Perfect Fit for the Position
I hate to tell you that, if you are really a perfect fit for the position, you will almost always lose!
Do you actually believe that job description is accurate? If you do, you are smoking something and your inhaling.
Let’s start at the beginning of the hiring process with the creation of the job description.
Note: This post was originally published in November of 2014. It was updated in March of 2018.
I am going out on a limb to say that most job descriptions are badly written. The hiring manager uses the Internet to find a similar position and then modifies it to fit the position they want. They will put every possible qualification in the job description. This turns into a Purple Cow Job Description that is almost impossible to find a perfect fit.
How do I know? I have done it myself.
Most job descriptions are written by people who are completely unqualified to write job descriptions. I was a hiring manager and was I ever trained on how to write one? NO!
If you are smart, you will customize your resume so that it highlights accomplishments, results and metrics (ARM) for each responsibility in the job description.
You will also look for keywords so that when you submit your resume into the black hole of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), the resume will meet enough qualifications to be selected. Remember you really have no idea what keywords were entered into the ATS for this position. If you say huh… read my post 5 Things You Will Never Know About the Hiring Process.
When a recruiter looks at your resume, they quickly scan for these ARM statements and decide whether to call you. Typically, if you meet six out of the ten criteria, you will likely get a call for a screening interview.
If you meet ten out of ten, well, they may determine that you are overqualified!
WHAT!! I am a perfect fit if I meet all of the qualifications! NOPE. You are overqualified.
You will likely get—at the very least—a phone interview.
You prepare for the interview by researching the company and the hiring manager thoroughly. You probe for pain points during the interview and simply wow them with your expertise. You can do this job in your sleep!
That is exactly the problem, you can do the job in your sleep.
You walk out of the interview thinking you just nailed it and wait for the call saying they will be making an offer.
Well, that call is simply not going to come.
You say to yourself, “I am a perfect fit. I can do this job. Who would be better?”
This is where you are suffering what I call MSU Disorder, (Make Stuff Up). The reality is you have no idea what they are really looking for unless you have insider information.
You are a perfect fit! That is the problem. There is nothing for you to learn. There is nothing for you to grow into.
The hiring manager is sitting in the interview saying to him or herself, wow this is one impressive candidate. Will they get bored in six or more months and then leave? Would I rather have a less qualified candidate who can grow into the role, possibly pay them less, and have them stick around for two or three years?
Let’s go back to the beginning. The job description is written with every qualification possible. Do they really expect to get every qualification? NO. Do they really want to pay for every qualification? NO.
They want someone who can do the job, learn what they need to learn and pay as little as possible.
This is an area where a lot of baby boomers get into trouble. Maybe they want to scale back and take on fewer responsibilities. They are a perfect fit for the position, but will anyone believe them that they will not get bored in a few months?
If you really are a perfect fit for a position, you will almost always lose.
What to do?
Stop applying for jobs that you will be deemed overqualified. More importantly, stop applying for jobs and leverage your relationships! This particularly true when you chase job roles targetted to the millennials. If you are unsure what I mean read my post Are You Discouraged Pursuing Millennial Job Opportunities
Still Think You are a Perfect Fit?
I can not emphasize it enough, if the first time the hiring manager discovers you is via an application on the applicant tracking system (ATS), you will lose almost every time.
Look for positions that you can grow into or scale back your resume and how you present yourself. The problem with the 2nd approach is hiring managers usually figure out that you gaming the system.
If you are truly a perfect fit… YOU LOSE!