The ONE Thing Job Seekers Can Control
Y'all I'm going to drop some very loving truth bombs right now. Prepare yourself.
No one - NO ONE - is responsible for your job search but YOU - the job seeker. Not recruiters. Not hiring managers. Not HR. Not your momma. ONLY you. While any number of these people can help you as you navigate your search, the actions you take are ultimately yours and yours alone.
Of course the obvious push back to this (and rightly so) is that job search is so f*cking confusing. Apply to everything. Don't apply to anything. Network. Show your value. Have 47 versions of your resume. Don't make a resume at all. Stand out. Stand in. Stand over there. Stand on your head.
WHAT IS A JOB SEEKER TO DO?
There is exactly ONE THING in this entire process start to finish that is 100% in YOUR control. That is the information you choose to provide to a company/hiring manager/recruiter. It is usually in the form of a resume, possibly a cover letter, and almost certainly information in an online application. Before we talk about that, let's start by getting clear on some of the fundamentals. The usual caveats apply here - your personal mileage my vary. Your friend's neighbor's cousin's ex-boyfriend once dated a girl who's sister had a COMPLETELY different experience. Cool. You're free to chase whatever thought leader feel good nonsense you like. If you're open to some tough truths that may give you a fresh perspective, read on!
MOST job descriptions are written by business leaders. A lot of the formatting or required fields are created and approved by HR, Marketing, and Legal - but typically the meat of the JD is created or at least influenced by the managers, who know what it is they want to hire for. We hear a LOT of complaining about "entry-level" job descriptions requiring 5+ years of experience. Guess what? Those roles are not entry level. I am not sure why they are classified as such - they're not. This article from Indeed describes "entry-level" as follows -
- “Degree not required” entry-level jobs: These types of entry-level jobs do not require a college degree and may not require any previous experience. Examples of jobs in this segment include data entry, technicians, retail and sales positions and administrative positions.
- True entry-level jobs: True entry-level jobs are those that you can typically get upon graduation from college. These positions require applicants to have an undergraduate degree and possibly internship experience. Examples of true entry-level jobs can be found in the career fields of marketing, healthcare, law and finance.
- “Professional experience required” entry-level jobs: This type of entry-level position requires applicants to have at least one to three years of full-time, professional experience in the field. Employers are looking to fill these types of roles with professionals that require minimal training and guidance during on-boarding. These entry-level jobs are commonly found in the areas of business, science and technology.