The Best Qualified Applicant Doesn’t Always Get the Job

The good news: You are great at your profession, none better, superheroes aspire to reach your level of competence.

The bad news: You may not be the one that gets hired.

How is this possible? You’re competent, know your business and you’re an all-around great person. Why weren’t you the one selected.

I won’t sugar-coat this: it’s not always the best qualified person that is selected, it is the person who understands the job search process best who get the job.

Did you know that referred applicants are 15 times more likely to get hired than those who just apply from a job board? Did you apply and passively wait for a call or did you aggressively network to find the hiring manager and get a referral from the manager’s trusted friend? The referred applicant may not be as qualified, but they understand how the process works and takes advantage of it.

78% of recruiters cite enthusiasm as the quality most likely to influence a hiring decision. The successful applicant understands this and goes over-the-top to impress the interviewer that they want the job and will be excited to do it. This may not be the most qualified applicant, but they understand the importance of enthusiasm and use it to their advantage.

Companies expect you to tailor your resume to their specific needs. The savvy applicant takes time to customize each resume to fit the needs of the employer, their resume and cover letter speak directly to the needs of the employer. Resumes, as in clothing, “one size fits all” is never true. In most cases what it means is, it doesn’t fit anyone. This may not be the best qualified applicant, but they don’t take shortcuts.

You might be the most brilliant expert in your field, but if you are unknown (poor personal branding) or have bad packaging (your personal marketing), you might get overlooked for someone who presents themselves better.


Rick ChristensenRick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice

Rick has been a career consultant for almost 30 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.

Contact Rick at: Rick@CareerDevelopmentPartners.com


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Originally posted at Career Development Partner