Why Jobseekers Don’t Get the Call They Think They Deserve

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It’s tough being a jobseeker. I know this for a fact because I was in the same boat as well 6 months back. With me hounding job portals/job sites and applying to 10 jobs a day, I still wasn’t getting a single call.

But surely, that couldn’t be possible! After all, I was a top B-school material with 3 years of marketing experience so I simply couldn’t fathom why FMCG companies weren’t lining up outside my door with offers to be their next Brand Manager.

And this is exactly what happens to other candidates irrespective of the sector; which brings us to two possibilities:

  1. Either most of the job postings are fake, or
  2. I’m simply not the right fit/there are better candidates out there

Egotistical as we humans are, we choose to go with the first option because we’ve ingrained into ourselves the “I’m a Bond” attitude and the feeling that “Boss, I’m the perfect person for this role”!

Having been in the online recruitment industry for quite some time now, I think I’m in a pretty decent position to elaborate on why the above scenario repeats itself and why candidates don’t get the call they think they deserve.

Notice I said “they think they deserve” and not “they deserve”. Let’s explore this in-depth as to where the mismatch occurs.

The Job Description – What it Reads and What is Interpreted

jobdescription3A lot of candidates view the JD as a few lines of random words slapped together to make coherent sentences. A few of you might disagree saying we treat it as the Bible but sadly, that’s an exception and not the norm.

There’s a reason why someone took all that pain of writing a detailed description of the job; not because he had a dream and decided that “4-6 years of Brand Management experience required in FMCG/Telecom” will make it look cool.

Don’t read the JD and think to yourself “I bet I can do all this” but rather as “Yes, I’ve been doing all this”. The minute you make this fine distinction, you’ll realize that not only are you applying to fewer jobs but you’re also getting a lot more responses against those applications.

We’ve seen the above repeated over and over again. Candidates mail us with feedback saying they’re not getting any responses on their applications and when we look at their applied jobs history, it takes us less than a second to figure out why.

Yes, a lot of us (including me) would love to do the so perceived sexy “branding stuff” in a top FMCG firm but from a recruiter’s point of view, why on Earth should he interview me when there are at least 10 other applicants who’ve worked in a Branding role with other FMCG companies!

Amount of Competition – Why you’re not “Always” the Best

job marketI’ve mentioned this above as well but we as jobseekers do tend to exhibit the “no better candidate than me” phenomena on a daily basis. Just because you went to a top B-school and have 2 years of Sales experience, doesn’t mean you should get an interview shot at every sales opening that’s posted. And while you might turn around and say that “Sales toh sales hi hota hai yaar; kuch bhi karlo”, once again that’s your justification for not getting that call.

On iimjobs.com, we get the highest quality applications against every job posting. The math is simple. Against an average of 300 applications, only 10 get shortlisted which leaves 290 applicants or 96.7% of the junta dejected. Yes, the economy might be shaky but boy, is the job market in India competitive!

So What’s the Solution?

Fortunately and unfortunately, the solution lies in the hands of the jobseekers. You can’t stop a desperate jobseeker from applying to a job (for which he’s not a good fit but something he feels he’ll be a good fit at) but you can provide him better tools/education to make that informed decision.

We at iimjobs.com are trying to bring in changes that will create a better Eco-system for both jobseekers and recruiters – ideally a place where recruiters find the ideal profiles they’re looking for without going through a pile of unwanted resumes and where every jobseeker gets a feedback against every application that he makes (whether positive or negative).

As one popular song puts it, “The road is long, with many a winding turn”. But we will get there. Eventually!

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Aman leads the marketing efforts at iimjobs.com & hirist.com and is responsible for user acquisition, product, content and strategy. When not doing any of the fancy things mentioned above, he can be found with a book in hand, oblivious to his surroundings. Unless there's a Manchester United match on TV!

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