Job Seeker: How to Apply (or Not) Apply for a Job

Applying for a Job


It’s very easy as a job seeker to earn a reputation that you are not even aware of and is actively subverting your chances of getting a job. That reputation can take many forms, but there are a couple common types that stand out. One is of the person that applies to every job no matter if they’re qualified or not, and the other is the person who applies to jobs and then never returns calls or messages. Another common job seeker is the “always keeping my feelers out there” who is not quite committed to any job they are in. I think I can explain and address each candidate in this short article and provide some insight so you can avoid getting mislabeled.

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Types of Job Seekers


Recruiters and HR managers who have been working in their market for over a year start to see the same candidates coming up in job board searches and as job applicants. When you are a candidate who applies to all jobs no matter what, this is not being perceived the way that you think it is, and will likely result in you being seen as an unserious job seeker. There is a pervasive idea that job descriptions are written as a list of “nice to have’s” instead of mandatory, and or can be negotiated during the interview process. So, you should apply even if you don’t have some of the so-called mandatory qualifications for the role. This method may have worked a couple times for some outliers in the industry, but it is not a recommended practice as it does harm your online reputation.

The other confusing tactic is applying for a job and then not responding to calls and messages about the job. In a way, as a recruiter, you are calling their bluff by saying “okay if you think you’re qualified, let’s have a conversation” and then that’s where the candidate ghosts you. In my career, I’ve always mentally red-flagged people that do that in case their name pops up again.

job search

There is also that unfortunate job seeker who is unaware that the Apply Now or Easy Apply button has the older version of your resume, which signals to anyone viewing it that you are bad at managing small details. This may or may not disqualify you right away, but we must avoid it right out of the gate.
Likewise, the candidate that is always keeping his “feelers out” is not somebody that a company wants to hire because their perception is “This guy will jump as soon as something pays him a little more.”

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Linkedin Easy Apply


Start your Job Search


The absolute first step in the job search process is locking down your resume. Then you work on locking down your references and then doing a mock interview where you go through questions and responses.
Before you start your job search, make sure all your ducks are in a row. You are seeing a trend here with my advice over the past few articles which is, BE HONEST. Make it an honest and transparent job search. Don’t portray you or your skills as something they aren’t.

To message me directly, find me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-arrigo/

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Job Search during COVID-19. Hiring, Firing and Furlough.

Nobody knows what is going on, and there is no strategy in place for both corporations and candidates alike.

Many candidates are getting furloughed, which I’m skeptical is actually a real word. What furloughed means is that you are still an employee but you don’t get all the perks of being employed, like getting paid. You might get to keep your health benefits, but that is usually it. This is much better than getting laid off, as the intent with being furloughed is to bring you back after a certain period of time. Its a huge cost-saving measure for the company, and they get to save face with their employee.

For those that were laid off, the market is purgatory. The image below is what it’s like to search for jobs on Indeed.

20 Creepy Pieces Of Purgatory Art
Welcome to the job market!

You don’t know if the job you applied for is truly hiring (heaven), or if it’s going to be “put on hold” indefinitely (hell). Likewise, the recruiter is talking to candidates as if the job is moving forward, with the nagging feeling that it could all be for naught. This is not a great location to reside.

The companies that are adapting quickly are going to to be the winners after we come out the other side of this. They are going to snatch up all the former on-site workers who have tasted the remote life, and take all the best talent across the US. Mentioned earlier, larger corporations are going to struggle with this transition. The small-to-medium size businesses will see the vision and thrive moving forward.

Economy and Corporations

The issue that big corporations have during this time is their inability to see past a small snapshot in time. Because the ultimate concept of the corporation is to deliver return to your shareholders, there is no flexibility when it comes to adjusting to a crisis like we have with COVID-19. There is no such thing as maintaining profits or holding steady — there most always be growth eternally. And with this mindset, its tough to be agile when its most needed. The instant reaction is to panic, slash spending and staff, and essentially hibernate until things blow over.

What I am not seeing at all while cruising around news blogs and LinkedIn, is a mention about the fragility of the economy. Imagine being a massive corporation with vaults full of money, huge dividends, and a positive cash-flow. A little 1-month slump can bring you to your knees? That’s not a strong economy built on a sound foundation. That’s a house made of sand that is praying the tide doesn’t rise too high.

Working with a recruiter or staffing firm

Working with a staffing firm?

Working with a staffing firm or a recruiter is an added advantage for a job seeker in ANY market. There will always be those who choose to apply directly to a company’s careers page, and those that leverage their internal network to find a new job.

However, there shouldn’t be any hesitancy to also using a staffing firm or executive recruiter in your job search.

Staffing firms all operate pretty much the same way, and cover nearly every possible job sector you can imagine (government, IT, marketing, accounting, defense, sales, law, etc). A firm will reach an agreement with a company to use them to fill all or some of their open positions. Typically this is because they are currently either too busy to work on a particular role, or struggling to fill on their own. The added advantage for a company is that they can make use of contractors this way, instead of hiring them directly.

A good agency will have a wide variety of clients within a certain city or market, giving them access to more jobs in which they are tasked to fill. For a candidate, this is exactly who you want to be working with to find a job.

Staffing firms typically have a relationship with the hiring manager– that is– the person who MAKES ALL THE HIRING DECISIONS. If you could work with someone who would get your resume in front of their face, wouldn’t you want that? That’s the advantage of working with a recruiter or a staffing firm. No longer does your resume have to sit in a huge dusty pile of LinkedIn or Indeed applicants and go overlooked. It goes right TO the manager.

At the same time, you are doing your own search and talking to your network to aid in the search. I always tell my candidates to cast a wide net for yourself when you are in the job hunt. An agency is just another tool to use so you aren’t alone in your job search.

LinkedIn Job Search and Quick Apply

As a best practice, I would not recommend applying to jobs with the mentality that its all “just a number’s game.” Because what happens when the recruiter calls you and asks whether or not you have a certification that is required? Or if you have the minimum 5 years experience? Or if you’ve ever worked with Salesforce? You look bad because you have to backtrack and say, “Well… I’m familiar with it.” “I’ve messed around with it at home.” And then the classic, “I’m a fast learner.”

This does not bode well for being perceived as an honest candidate. You may be tainting your future chances with a company or staffing firm.

Youtube Channel

Welcome to the channel

To supplement the written portion of this site, I will be adding my Youtube videos as well. Topics are going to include recruiting, resume review, navigating the job market, and applying MBTI (see below) to the world of hiring and corporate communication.

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