I’m Qualified For This Job, But…

How many times have you submitted a resume or application for a job that you KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are qualified to do and are left with the sound of crickets.

No response. Nothing. It happens all the time.

There are two potential issues working against you.

1. Your resume is not KWOLLIFIED.

KWO = Key Word Optimized. Online resumes are parsed by computers that reduce it to a smattering of data that the recruiter feels relevant. Often they are a series of keywords relevant to the job description which sounds simple enough. But if your keywords are not plentiful enough, used in the same tense/context they choose, close enough to the top, etc., your resume is NEVER seen by human eyes.

For example, a Sales Manager position might be sourced using the keywords B2C or B2B, Sales Manager, territory sales, and leadership. (I am simplifying for the sake of demonstration.)

If you have the keywords closer to the bottom of your resume, don’t use them enough times to relegate your resume to the top, or you use Business To Consumer instead of B2C, and Lead a team of five instead of Demonstrated leadership, you will NOT be seen. Generally recruiters use Boolean search strings to pull up a variety of possibilities, but the challenge remains that you never really know what keyword combinations they will use.

2. You are not QUALIFIED
Qualified is one of those words that is a misnomer in the employment economy. A qualification might be a college degree, but that doesn’t mean that someone without a degree couldn’t do the job just as well, or sometimes better than someone with the degree. Another qualification might be a period of time within a specific industry, but transferable skills can cross industries.

The key is to be able to show that you are indeed qualified in the sense that you are “adequate” for the job.

So how do you do that? After all, the “qualifications” are there for a reason. And a good one. The company believes they will have better results when they get someone who fits their parameters. Often this is true. A college degree is a great way to see who can commit themselves to a larger vision, attending classes for four plus years, until the goal of graduation is accomplished.


Go underground with your job search.

If you are experiencing either of the two scenarios above, submitting your resume to an online posting is generally only going to lead to crickets, and frustration.

You need to find a way to stand out, and since you are a human being with a personality, skills, education and accomplishments that can not always be reduced to the simplest of keywords, you must work around that.

Use your network to find out who the influencers are in the company you want to work for. The key here is to be focused on a job/company that you REALLY want. Otherwise, the efforts could be potentially wasted.

Develop relationships by starting conversations and providing value. (This is perhaps over-simplified, which is why I have a complete coaching course on The Underground Job Market.) If someone knows you, likes you, trusts you, then you have a much better chance of creating a conversation around why you are both qualified and adequate for a job. Your resume is actually the most powerful AFTER it’s been asked for.