“I’ve applied for more jobs than I can count in the past year, but haven’t landed anything. I graduated from university five years ago, have had two employers in that time, and earned one promotion. I’m still considered a junior-level employee so I’m looking for my next move. At first, I was selective, but my friends keep telling me “Apply to everything!” even if I don’t have every qualification listed on the posting. I put myself forward for anything that’s in my industry. I’ve been called in for many interviews, but never hear back. I bring references, I’m on time, and I always follow up to show that I’m eager. It hasn’t worked and I’m discouraged and demoralized. Why can’t I get hired?”
Senior Vice President, Executive Support at Scotiabank
Islay is a thirty-year banker with broad experience across Personal, Small Business and Commercial Banking business lines as well as experience in risk management, human resources and operations. She is also the Chair of Maduro & Curiel’s Bank based in Curaçao, the Chair of the Dalhousie MBA Advisory Council and a board member at the Toronto Rehab Foundation.
Glad to hear you are persevering! When it comes to seeking new opportunities to advance your career, it’s best to start with a self-assessment of your strengths, skills, and achievements. Think about the type of work you enjoy doing and are passionate about.
Accessing the position qualifications
You don’t have to possess all of the requirements of a job posting in order to apply. If you can show that you have similar skills and abilities that you have demonstrated in other roles or volunteer positions, this increases your chances of landing an interview, and ultimately the job.
Are you a right fit for the company? Hiring managers are looking for the right experience, skills, and knowledge and for the right fit with the company culture and the team. As such, you would benefit from doing some research to learn more about the organization you wish to join.
The interview gives you the opportunity to demonstrate how you can contribute to both the job and the team. It is also when your fit to the organization and department is assessed. Your presence and the impression you make during the interview stage is critical to your personal brand and success. So go in prepared!
Be selective! Don’t just “apply anyway”! Your first instinct was right: The “apply to everything” advice your friend suggested is not my recommended approach. Be selective in your job search. If you reach the interview stage, hiring managers will sense your level of interest and passion for the role based on your responses.
Set yourself up for success by being more selective about your next career move. There is a lot of competition out there so targeting the right level and roles for your skillset and experience will increase your job search results. Look for exciting opportunities that leverage your strengths. This will allow you to shine and position yourself as a valuable team member. The growth, development, and progression you seek will follow when you are in the right role.
Remember that it is important to diversify your search strategies and leverage all the ways possible to land the right role. Let your network of friends and colleagues know you are interested in a new career opportunity.