So Why Did You Apply?

Vantage Points Header Joel ElvesonYOU SAW A JOB POSTING on one of the job boards or got wind of an opening a recruiter has. The position looked interesting , the compensation package was very good, the benefits package looked good as did the location. With that you hurriedly e-mailed out your resume anticipating an interview invitation. You sit anxiously by your computer anxiously waiting for that interview request that invariably does not come. Completely clueless as to how this could happen or why it happened you go back and forth in your mind. The answer to your question does not “pop” itself into your head.

Let me now ask a question I as a recruiter ask myself all the time which is “why did this person apply?” I will now direct the same question directly to you “why did you apply for this job?” To let the cat out of the bag so to speak as to the reason I asked the same question twice is that there is nothing more frustrating to a Staffing Agency Recruiter or Internal Corporate Recruiter than to have to look at resume after resume from candidates who either did not bother reading the what the requirements were for the position or just figured they would throw their resume in figuring they had nothing to lose.

Nothing to lose? You have everything to lose by just randomly applying for jobs you have no business applying for since you do not have the background or skill set needed. To any recruiter you come off as being indifferent or inattentive to details. You may also be perceived as being aloof. Having these stigmas attached to your name can be difficult to remove. The more you engage in this practice the greater the chance you your name will very well known to many people in a manner you do not want to be known for.

Consider these facts if you will. Recruiters talk to each other and network with each other all time. As part of this process recruiters discuss job orders with each other, resumes they have seen, etc. There is every possibility you could be one of those “names” that are vividly remembered since you have applied “all of the place” allowing enough recruiters to know your resume to the point they can repeat it word for word in the middle of night without having it in front of them.

A Staffing Agency recruiter stands to earn a nice fee from his client when he or she makes a successful placement. In other words there is every motivation in the world to place you. Not only is there the financial aspect there is the satisfaction that comes from knowing you have positively impacted somebody’s life. The Corporate (aka Internal Recruiter) is also quite motivated to show his hiring manager the quality of their work and to get that person hired. It works well all around.

Recruiters are not free from flaws (nor do we claim to be) meaning it is possible your resume should have been given consideration. Perhaps the recruiter did not more closely examine what was presented to him or her more closely. I am the first to admit than does (not often) happen. If you feel perhaps the recruiter missed something send a non-accusatory e-mail inquiring as to why you will not be moved forward in the process. Most recruiters love to engage with candidates which is borne out of their natural love of people.

Prior e-mailing out your query to the recruiter as to the reason you either heard nothing back or were turned down. The reason(s) may very well be right before your eyes. If the recruiter does not see from your resume what is needed for the opportunity you will be deemed not to be a fit and fall into “why did you apply?” category. You may have all the necessary skills, experience, etc. for the job but if it does not appear on your resume or if it is not clear to the “naked eye” in essence you have taken yourself out of consideration.

For the candidate who applied to a recruiters posting (or job board posting) because they want this type of job but do not have the experience my best advice would be not to apply. The services of a recruiter (Staffing Agency) are retained when a hiring entity has an open position for which their internal recruiters do not have the resources to find. Those candidates wishing to change careers, learn on the job, etc. will not garner the recruiter’s attention. If the client was looking for anything else than those who have the specific experience they want a recruiter would not be hired.

So why did you apply? Avoid this potentially career/job search damaging activity by doing your due diligence which means paying attention to what is required vs. what you have done.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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    • Qamar, Thanks for reading and commenting. You are always so complimentary towards my work yet I never asked you what is about these articles that you like?

    • Yes Joel! Your articles are always very inspiring, proving your grip over your field. As far as this particular post is concerned, it contains very useful and valuable tips for the applicants of jobs. I most like the parts where you advise not to throw applications to every job posted and read carefully the job requirements before applying. And one that if you have a particular experience or skill that is required, your resume should highlight it. Joel! This article is really a guide.

    • Qamar, Thank you for your insights. I have often wondered what in all the articles I have written prompted the very generous comments you provide. You are a very unique and gifted individual.