I probably hear this at least five or six times a week. The truth is that 60% of candidates I have can probably do 60% of the job opportunities that I’m representing. And from a candidate point of view, I totally understand. But there is a really big difference between being able to do the job and being able to get the job.
This is one of the hardest things that I have to communicate to candidates. I understand. Individuals have a tendency to see their ability to do a job through their own eyes. And, since they know they can do the job, they can’t imagine that a hiring authority would not also see that. But the truth is that a hiring authority is comparing every candidate’s skills, ability and experience. They are comparing every candidate with the other ones. And, in this market, there are at least 14 or 15 well-qualified candidates to do most jobs. When hiring authorities have that many candidates to compare with, the ability to do the job is only part of the decision-making.
As I have written about before, there are four basic questions that add up to a candidate’s getting hired. Twenty percent of the hiring decision is based on “can the candidate do the job?” Forty percent of the hiring decision is based on “do we like the candidate?… Does the candidate fit in?” Thirty percent of the hiring decision is based on, “what kind of a risk is this candidate?” And ten percent of the hiring decision is based on, “can we work the money out?”
The first question is what I call the “threshold question,” meaning that it is the first question that an employer might ask in order to even interview the candidate. This is where most candidates get eliminated. If the experience isn’t current to exactly what the employer is looking for or perceived as relevant to exactly what they want done, the candidate may not even get to first base and get interviewed. This decision can depend on so many things like what is on a resume, where a person has worked before, what the resume might look like, even the mood of the interviewing or hiring authority when they look at the resume or even the LinkedIn profile of the candidate. I’ve had candidates eliminated from being considered for an interview simply because they don’t have their picture on their LinkedIn profile, not enough contacts on their profile and all kinds of other crazy reasons that have nothing to do with the ability to do the job.
And then, after all of this, even if the candidate gets the interview, they have to interview well. And that feat is a totally separate subject. After getting the interview, this is the most crucial aspect of getting the job. The interview is where most candidates lose their chance of getting hired. (I have written a whole book on this and much of www.thejobsearchsolution.com is devoted to teaching people how to do this effectively and well.)
So, the next time you think, “I can do that job,” think about all the things that have to be overcome before you get a chance to do the job.