12 Reasons Why Getting a Job is So hard for Smart People
You've done everything you're supposed to. You went to a great university and graduated with good grades. Your parents and teachers told you your future looks bright.
You'd think that getting a job you love that uses your skills would be easier for you than someone who's less qualified, less educated and may even have a prison record... but it's not.
Did you know that only 13% of people worldwide who have a job like their job? It's got nothing to do with their intelligence, skills or education.
It's got to do with one thing. Most people don't get the job they want.
They want a job they enjoy. A job where their skills and strengths shine through and companies make them feel their work is important.
But few people get that, and there are two reasons why. When most people graduate, they
A) Take a job that's challenging, high paying and impressive like law, investment banking, or consulting... but shortly after doing it, they realise it's not fulfilling and try to change careers
B) Don't get the job they really wanted. So they instead do another professional job in a field somewhat interesting to them... but shortly after doing it, they too realise it's not fulfilling and try to change careers
These mistakes can be avoided if you get clear on what job you want and you learn how to get the job you want.
And though this sounds simple, actually getting the job you want is anything but easy.
Here are 12 reasons why getting a job is so hard even for smart people and what you can do to make it easier for yourself.
#1 - You don't LOOK DIFFERENT
You know you can do the job. You know why you want the job. But you don't look different when you're next to other candidates that might be more experienced or qualified than you.
TIP: If you want to look different and stand out, discover what makes you different and use this difference to show them why you're the best person for the job.
#2 - You don't look like an expert
In the professional world, you're a nobody. Your friends love you. So do your parents. Your teachers and employers may even think you're brilliant. But all the people that haven't met you have no idea what you're brilliant at. When they google you, your name doesn't come up. When they look at your LinkedIn profile, it doesn't match your CV. When they see your social media accounts, you look like everything but an expert.
Tip: To be the strongest candidate, create a personal brand that makes you look like an expert in your field. Your brand is everything they see when they Google you. People who have online bio websites, consistent LinkedIn profiles, blogs and create a social media account where they express their expertise look like experts worth hiring.
#3 - Your Linkedin Profile picture makes others cringe
Many crop a profile picture from a photo someone took of them at a wedding or a party. Or worse... some people crop selfies. If I have to explain why this isn't good ... then we have a problem. To help you out, I have one word for you... unprofessional.
Tip: To look professional, ask someone to take a professional head shot of you. And remember to wear something consistent with your personal brand.
#4 - You're competing against hundreds of smart FANS
Everyone that looks for a job applies online. As such, Glassdoor estimates the average job posting has over 250 applications! And only 2% of those who apply online get invited for an interview.
If you're applying to work at the best companies where people in your field would do anything to work there, chances are there'll be even more stiff competition and you'll have less than a 1% chance of getting invited for an interview.
Tip: Try to get the job to through connections or building relationships with people who work there. 80% of the jobs available aren't advertised online. Companies actually tend to recruit internally and ask people to make referrals.
#5 - You don't have connections
You don't know anyone at the company you want to work for and you don't know how to build relationships with the people who work there.
Tip: You can create connections by cold emailing senior executives about being interested in the role, or asking someone that works there if you can do an informational interview.
#6 - Your CV is blah
You talk about your past work experience and education. Trouble is... they don't really care. All they want to know is, can you do the job and are you the right person to interview?
Tip: To write a CV that gets you interviews, instead tell a story of why they should hire you and show evidence of why they should hire you.
#7 - Your cover letter gets trashed
You think you're tailoring it to the company. But they can tell you've tailored a generic cover letter to them and the only thing you've changed is the company name and some small details. You haven't fooled anyone.
Tip: To write a cover letter that gets you interviews, write it as though you're personally writing to someone who's struggling to find the right candidate for the role. Show them you are the right candidate and mean every single word you say.
#8 - computers reject your application before a human reads it
Many companies are overwhelmed with applications and so they use software to screen out applications that don't mention the key words and phrases they're looking for on a CV. Often only 50% of applications get shortlisted to be seen by an actual recruiter or hiring manager.
Tip: To have your application be shortlisted, mirror your CV and cover letter with the job description.
#9 - You say the wrong things in interviews
When a recruiter or your potential boss asks you a question you don't expect, you freeze and your brain turns into mush. But you don't want to not answer the question, so you start talking without thinking through how to best answer this question. As a result your answer falls flat.
Tip: To ace the interviews, learn how to powerfully answer ANY interview question so your answers never fall flat, no matter how tough the questions are.
#10 - You don't ask the right questions at an interview
You write down some questions to ask, but you leave them to the end. And the questions you ask don't tell you much about the company. But you see, when you don't ask the right questions, you don't learn what type of person they are looking for. If you don't learn this, you won't know how to look like the right fit and make a strong case for why they should hire you.
Tip: To show you're the right fit, ask the right questions throughout the entire interview.
#11 - You hate negotiating
Talking about money and asking for a specific salary makes you feel icky. Being asked what income you're on or your expected salary makes your heart beat out of your chest. What makes it worse is, you haven't yet learned how to negotiate and are uncomfortable doing it. And so you end up accepting a job offer that's "okay" ... but because you aren't being compensated as well as other candidates have been, you soon enough feel underpaid.
Tip: To be paid the best you could be and feel valued at whatever job you get, learn how to negotiate.
#12 - You don't GET SLAM DUNK references
Asking for a reference makes you cringe. You hate asking for someone's help. And so you kindly ask them and they write a standard reference instead of a glowing "slam dunk" reference. This affects the company's impression of you.
Tip: To give companies confidence they made the right choice in hiring you, learn how to get glowing "slam dunk" references.
Fortunately for you, looking for a job doesn't have to be so hard.
You can make it easy for yourself and trying this Best Job Offer Assessment and discovering how you can get your best job offer yet.