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.”

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Job Application | WordStream
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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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Why Am I Getting Rejected – Job Interview and Awareness

There is a common post-interview plague that is tragically infecting job seekers. It is in regards to not understanding how the interview went and going as far as to say you “killed the interview.” From my experience in being the middleman in this process, those who claim the interview went amazingly well, don’t get the job. Those who said the interview was OK, or they “think it went alright” are the ones who usually get the role.

Lack of Awareness

There is a disconnect between what you perceive as building rapport and being jovial, and the true reality of the situation. Candidates will tell me they were joking and laughing and the conversation was very light-hearted, as trademark signs that the interview was going swimmingly. What’s happening is the laughter is the nervous kind, and the jokes were off-putting. The laid back nature of the interview is because they’ve already decided you aren’t a fit and they don’t need to get deeper into the details of the job. Generally, this is recurrent theme with these candidates and is something that can be reversed by focusing on MBTI and the way in which one interacts and perceives the world.

Myers- Briggs and Interview Style

We have to start by understanding ourselves. And the way we do that is by first reading, Please Understand Me by David Kiersey. Once we discover the way our specific type (out of 16) perceives and relates to others– in a way I guarantee most of us haven’t fully conceptualized– we can fix some of the recurring potholes we always stumble in.

I think I can offer one straightforward explanation as to why your type is affecting your interviews and potential job offers. If you are an Extrovert in general, you are going to get your energy from the outer world. If along with your extroverted-ness, you also have a preference for Feeling vs Thinking, you are going to internalize your outer world. So when you get the laughter and smiles and eye contact in the interview, you are going to say, “hey, I am doing pretty well here!”

Unfortunately, you may be reading the situation on a very superficial plane. Your S and T functions will come in handy here if you make a wholehearted effort to develop them. Learning to strengthen your Sensing (S) and Thinking (T) functions will help you pick up on physical clues that can alert you to points when the interview might be taking a wrong turn and you need to course correct.

Obviously, there are millions more words to be written on the finer points of using MBTI to help with JUST how to interview better and be more aware of our faults. Though our tendency is to find a way to externalize our blame onto the interviewer, we should first make certain the interviewee truly knows themselves.

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

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Job Market Then and Now: Candidate’s Market vs Employer’s Market

From the end of 2018 until February 2020, we were in a “candidate’s market.” This means that there were many job openings, yet the candidate pool was very shallow. What this meant for the candidate was they were highly prized possessions in their respective fields, and thus could negotiate for a higher salary knowing they were greatly sought-after. From a recruiting point of view, this is a tough process to negotiate. Your client’s are not budging on their salary range, and the candidates are fielding many offers. Candidate’s in this market generally have little loyalty to anything other than who will pay them more. This irrational exuberance has been seen many times before (e.g. Dot-com bubble, 2008 Financial Crisis.) The good times will never end! I’ll never die!

Now – during COVID-19 – we are seeing what happens when its an “employer’s market.” This means we have a small amount of job openings, with a deep reservoir of candidates available. This is great for employers as the leverage and power has completely shifted. You can now “low-ball” the salary with confidence that they aren’t going to be getting a counter-offer from other employers. Often heard during these interviews is, “At this point, I just need a job.” This is music to a company’s ears; and an awful sales pitch for yourself.

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Adjusting to this shift is abrupt for those who were riding the candidate market wave through ’18 and ’19. The grim reality is you can’t make $75/hr anymore–you have to take a pay cut. A Utopian career trajectory is one where you are always getting a better position with better pay. In reality, there comes a point where you can’t make what you made previously. This can be a harsh, ego-smashing moment for job seekers.

Unfortunately, what needs to be done at this point, isn’t. The path taken is that of “holding out” for a job that pays the same or better, falsely believing that the same market exists back when you landed your last gig.

The solution is to take a step back in order to take a step forward. Consider that a slight decrease in pay for a job that starts Monday, is better than no job offer that starts never. Though, that is a popular employer for many. I assume ego and status get in the way, thus clouding their logic. I will expand on that thought in future articles.

Point is, you might just be able to squeak by in America at $70/hr. Those that thrive in either market understand this phenomenon and the future of their careers in a way that does not solely focus on title and income, but that of the proper job fit and job enthusiasm.

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

The Job Market and the Continuous Job Search

Topics:

  1. -Boom Bust and Pandemic Job Cycle
  2. -Keeping resume up to date
  3. -Having a line out to staffing firms
  4. -Updating resume as you acquire new skills
  5. -Not waiting until last minute to decide to start looking