By Scot Feldmeyer – BarryStaff of Cincinnati Weekly Newsletter
“I’ll take any job. I can do anything.”
Sadly this is something that we hear all too often here at BarryStaff. Job hunters often get to the point in their search where they have given up on finding the job they prefer or where they have expertise, so they resign themselves to taking any job they can get. Their theory is that by saying, “I’ll take anything,” they will broaden their appeal to recruiters and hiring managers. It would seem to mean more possibilities, no?
Not really. The idea of casting a wider net just hoping to catch any old job might sound like a good idea for someone needing a paycheck, but it can backfire when you’ve ended up applying for a job for which you are not qualified. Candidates tell us that they are willing to take anything and that they can do anything. But it’s not true. There are jobs that they would quickly quit because of the hours or the conditions or the pay. Not every job is for every person. There is also the consequence of applying for jobs where you aren’t qualified. We have jobs for machinist and programmers and skilled tradesmen. If you have no experience in these areas, what were you going to do, just jump in there and wing it?
Our recruiters are constantly looking for the best match between the position and the candidate. When applicants tell us they can do anything or will do anything we slow them down by asking, “Well, what have you done in the past? What kind of experience do you have? What past jobs have been successful for you? What kind of job skills have you acquired? In what area is your education and training? What would you be happy doing? What did not work out well for you? What kind of things have been problems for you in past jobs? The whole idea is to get the person in that position who is the best fit possible. Being willing to settle for anything does not make an applicant more valuable. Overselling yourself will get you in trouble and underselling will make you look desperate. Nobody wants to put a person in a job where they will be gone as soon as they find a job better suited to them.
So what do you do? Don’t try to let quantity win out over quality. Don’t apply to jobs by sending a general resume and hoping they somehow see a fit for you at their company. Decide what job it is that you want and then try to highlight your experience to show how you can do the job. Today’s word processors make changing a resume easy. Just tailor it for the job you are seeking. You’ll be better at this if you study the company before applying for a job there.
Recruiters and Managers will have a tough time matching you to a job if you don’t know what job you want. You might just be trying to be “flexible” and trying to get a foot in the door but you could end up giving the impression that you aren’t sure what you really want. In the end job hunters need to go after jobs where they will at least have a chance of being successful, productive, and happy. If you find these things in a job then the recruiter or hiring manage will have an employee who is a true asset.