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Job Magician Don't Fall in Love with an Ad  

Too many job hunters read an ad and decide that they are absolutely perfect for it.  They apply immediately, and when they never hear from the company, they get frustrated, disappointed, angry and/or upset.

I’ve frequently spoken to candidates who say that the job description reads like it was written for them, and when I look at their qualifications, I really can’t imagine why.

Remember, there’s only so much you can cram into an ad, so there’s no way it can paint a complete picture of what the employer is seeking.


Here are some of the reasons why an employer might pass you by:

  • There could be a key qualification mentioned that you don’t have, but you feel that that is unimportant, and the hiring company feels it is crucial.
  • There could be a key qualification mentioned that you think you have, but the hiring company has a different definition of it.
  • There may be a key qualification that is not mentioned that you don’t have.
  • They may think that your experience is not senior enough.
  • They may think that you're overqualified, will get bored, and won't stay. There may be better candidates who have applied or who they are able to recruit who are clearly better qualified.
  • They may not really be that interested in filling the position.  This is more common than you think.  It’s one thing to spend $350 on an ad; it’s another thing to spend $225,000 a year for a new Vice President of Marketing when their VP/Sales has been wearing that hat for five years already.
  • They may have someone already slotted for the position but need to advertise to fulfill equal opportunity requirements.
  • They may not like the reputation of people who work for the company or companies where you work and have worked in the past.
  • They may think you’re going to be too expensive.
  • They may think you’re too old (or too young, or too short, or too ugly – take your pick).  Of course, they won’t say this to you, but this could be the case.  This is generally not the main reason that someone has been turned down, although job hunters in their fifties frequently believe that this is the only reason.
  • They may think that you won’t really move to their location, considering that you have spent your whole life in Tennessee and they’re located in Montana.       

You have no way of knowing what is really going on at the employer's end.

The moral of the story is not to fall in love with an ad and then become heartbroken when you don’t hear from the company that placed the ad. Just move on; in particular, move on to other job hunting methods beyond answering ads, because answering want ads is not a highly effective way to find work.


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