Over 100 Applications and Only One Interview

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Over 100 Applications and Only One InterviewLast week, I received a message from "D":
                
I have applied for over 100 jobs but I got only one interview. Most of the application are being rejected during preliminary screening. I am getting some calls from recruiting agencies but they are not coming back.
                
He goes on to say:


                
In my resume, I only provide experience relevant to the job. I write 20+ years of experience as HR or hiring managers are not interested for experience beyond 10 years. In my last interview, a panel of 5, pointed out that I have 36 years of experience since I graduated and I should not write 20+ years. I clarified that all the experience are not relevant to this position, I only indicated experience related to this job. But I felt they are not convinced and not accepted well.
                
He then asks:
                
Could you please advise what should be my approach in this situation and what I will write to indicate "year of experience" in resume? If I write I have 30+ years experience I may not be shortlisted for the job.

I'm going to go ahead and address the elephant in the room.

Before I do though, I want to acknowledge D for writing in and sharing his frustration with me. This is something many of the folks I coach are up against, and I know it can really knock your confidence.

Now...

Let's talk about D's age:

First, it's NOT the problem here.

I know it looks like his "30+ years of experience" is holding him back, but it's not. Yes, age can be a factor, but that's not the real issue here, and it's not the reason why hiring managers and recruiting agencies skip over his application.

You'll have to take my word on this, but right now, as I type these words, there are hundreds of thousands of young, twenty-something graduates going through the same frustration and rejection. They think it's because of their age or "lack of experience", but the truth is, it's because nobody ever taught them how to apply for jobs the right way.

I can see what D's problem is.

(You might have spotted it too.)

Here's the deal:

Landing yourself a job -- and I'm talking about getting the interview, acing the interview, and negotiating a killer salary -- really comes down to three steps:

Step #1:

Uncover your strengths, motivations, personality traits and core values.

In other words: Get clear about what you (uniquely) bring to the table.

Step #2:

Find out what the hiring manager or recruiter is looking for in their ideal candidate. Discover what problems they are trying to solve in their company.

Step #3:

Match your strengths to what they're looking for, and prepare evidence (drawn from past experiences) that you are the person they're seeking.

This is what I take you through in the Interview Success Formula program. (Obviously, each of these steps needs careful consideration, and there are many important details you need to get right.)

What many folks don't appreciate is, these three steps do not only apply to interviews; you should also use them when preparing your resume and across your job search.

Most candidates don't bother.

Why?

Because it takes extra work and focused introspection.

You've got to do it though. Because when you skip these vital steps, you present yourself as a "generic" candidate, and you give hiring managers, HR managers and recruiting agencies no choice but to treat you as a commodity.

Your true value doesn't get recognized.

Let's not do that, okay?

Now...

Can you see D's problem?

He applied for more than 100 jobs.

I'd bet my bottom dollar that even though he's working hard, he's not going through these three stages properly, and so, he's presenting himself as a commodity candidate.

THAT is the real issue here.

Not his age.

In fact, if he takes the time to go through the three steps I outlined above, and if he does it properly, for many applications his experience could be a powerful advantage. Chances are, D has solved many problems during his career, and I'm sure he has some impressive stories to tell.

He just needs to bring them out and frame them the right way.

If you too are in D's shoes, where you're applying to scores of jobs, but you're struggling to get your foot in the door, then do yourself a favour:

Invest in your success, and work your way through our Interview Success Formula program as soon as possible.

Do the survey, uncover your strengths, motivations, personality traits and core values, and then apply the course and worksheets to discover how you can use your experience to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you're the candidate they're looking for.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.