The best advice I give job seekers is to set realistic job expectations. Too many times candidates cause themselves heartache and misery because they have unrealistic expectations when applying for jobs. Yes, it’s true you need to aim high, but aiming too high can just lead to a longer time of being unemployed. I recently met a candidate who told me they had applied to over 100 banking jobs, but had not received a single interview request.
The first thing I did was review his resume as a poorly written resume is usually the reason behind 90% of failed attempts at securing interviews. The resume is the first impression a hiring manager has, so if there’s something fundamentally wrong with it, it doesn’t matter how good your qualifications are if the resume is never going to be read.
This time, however, his resume was very well written. His achievements were highlighted and the resume was structured and well presented, so I was quite confused as to why he was not getting a single interview. As a job seeker with 2 years of relevant work experience there didn’t seem to be a reasonable reason why this candidate should not be getting interviews or job offers.
The next thing we did was sit down together and analyse the jobs he had applied for, and there was the answer.
Within 60 seconds it became obvious why he wasn’t getting any interview requests. With 2 years of experience and on a base salary of $50,000, he was applying for senior roles with base salaries of $80,000-$120,000. With many of the jobs he didn’t even tick the essential requirements on the job description such as minimum years in a manager position.
Not only was he wasting his own time by applying for these positions, but he was also causing unnecessary stress and anxiety in the meantime. I encourage candidates to strive for bigger and greater jobs and to seek out higher salaries, but just remember to be realistic in your job search. To be a manager or in a senior role takes experience and it is very unlikely that a company will hire an outside person to fulfil a role without the relevant experience. The more likely scenario is the company will promote within the company.
Go for gold and strive to succeed, but just remember to be realistic with your job expectations.