Frustration Friday: The Fear of THIS

Whenever my friends, family, coaching subjects, co-workers, ex-co-workers, etc. talk about their job searches I almost always hear some version of the following phrase:

"But I don't have THIS!"

THIS is usually a bullet point out of a large amount of bullet points on a job posting. It may be a skill, or a class, or a certification that, but THIS is something the person in question does not have, and they fear they won't get the job because of it.  Their whole world collapses into the fact "I don't have THIS."

I'm really tired of THIS.

THIS, that one item, stops people from applying for jobs they can do.

THIS, a single part of a job posting, can convince people who didn't get the job that there's one single reason they didn't get it.

THIS, is something people fret about endlessly.

In reality, THIS doesn't mean a thing.

Most job postings go through a series of hands, rules, issues, research, and formats.  It is rarely posted by the person who initially knew what was going on (because of process, or because they're just busy)  By the time it reaches the internet or even the recruiter, it's usually become one of three things:

* An insufferably large laundry list.
* A small blurb listing one or two things that, if you're lucky, are relevant to the job.
* An attempt to not be the above two that fails miserably by being faux-hip, oddball, or reads like a short story.

So, by the time the job ad gets to you, it doesn't have much to do with the actual job.  It's either a list no one can fill, a blurb without enough detailsf, or a strange piece of work no one can understand.  Focusing on a single item doesn't mean a thing because the process of posting job listings itself is flawed.

Forget THIS.  Forget that single item.  Ask yourself if you can do the job that's been described (if you can understand the job posting).  Remember that the job posting process is very broken.

Like it or not, you'll have to work around that.

Look at it this way, you're doing the people looking for an employee or a consultant a favor.  You're working around the broken process to help them find you, the right person for the job.  By ignoring THIS you'll make their lives a bit easier.

– Steven Savage