Job-seekers worry about their qualifications for job openings, even though most job-seekers are qualified to perform many different jobs.
We cannot blame them for worrying. Of course they worry, and they are likely to keep worrying until they find a new position!
Qualifications are only part of the job-search puzzle. Qualified job-seekers get rejected from recruiting pipelines every day!
1. The candidate is qualified for the job opening that was published, but in the meantime the hiring manager has changed the spec dramatically. In the job ad, the company said they wanted someone with five years of experience — but now they want ten years!
2. An entry-level resume screener couldn’t see the applicant’s qualifications on their resume or application, not because they weren’t clearly indicated but because the entry-level screener doesn’t understand the words or their context.
3. A keyword-searching algorithm is doing the resume screening and the software can’t tell who’s qualified and who isn’t.
4. The applicant is so qualified that somebody on the employer side of the desk assumes they’re going to want too much money — so they reject the applicant without asking them “What is your salary target?”
5. The applicant is highly qualified but they’re missing one tiny bullet point that a weenie manager decided was an Essential Requirement for the job — even though it isn’t.
6. The applicant is qualified, but they don’t fit the profile that the hiring manager or an HR person had in mind for the new hire — whether it’s their age, their educational background, or some other irrelevant factor.
7. The applicant is qualified but their experience comes from a different industry, and the unsophisticated person screening resumes in or out cannot see the relevance of their highly-relevant background.
8. The applicant is qualified but they’ve been out of work for a while, so their application is rejected automatically.
9. The hiring manager decided to hire an old college buddy instead of you or one of the other highly-qualified people who applied for the job.
10. The hiring manager is holding out for a highly-qualified applicant who is also willing to work for a below-market salary.