What are you lacking as a job candidate?

What are you Lacking as a Job Candidate?

The Survey Says…

Lee Hecht Harrison recently surveyed 277 human resource managers to find out what was missing from the job candidates they receive application materials from.

The prompt was: “Please rate how detrimental you believe each of the following issues is to a candidate’s chances of being selected for an interview.”

  • Lack of job related skills…9.0
  • Lack of required technical skills/experience…8.7
  • Spelling and/or grammatical errors on application materials…8.5
  • Lack of required education and/or training…8.1
  • Inappropriate social media content…7.7
  • Resume doesn’t showcase results or accomplishments…7.5
  • Gaps in work history…7.4
  • Lack of industry experience…7.3
  • Lack of tenure in current/previous position…7.3
  • Titles don’t accurately reflect positions and/or responsibilities…7.0
  • Poorly defined value proposition…6.2
  • Generic resume and cover letter…6.0
  • Failure to include a cover letter…3.9

The Messages

It seems that unqualified, or minimally qualified, candidates are applying for positions due to the prevalence of job boards and ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).

Think about it: a guy is bored, it’s midnight, and he happens upon his dream job as he is surfing the internet in his footie pajamas.

The only wrinkle: he doesn’t have the educational requirements, the requisite experience, or the focused marketing materials to be considered as a serious candidate.

So what? “Let’s hit the send button and apply anyway,” he thinks to himself.

Hence, the inboxes of HR managers are filled with applications from unqualified candidates, increasing the chances that your qualified application may be overlooked in the pile.

Another message: It’s ALL important if you want to receive the final rose (I’m a huge Bachelor fan). You can be well-educated and have great, relevant work experience…but not get called in for an interview because your marketing materials are riddled with misspelled words and poor grammar.

You can be THE perfect candidate…until they Google you and find some unfortunate content…or a lack of positive professional content.

You can be a great candidate EXCEPT for your habit of job-hopping, and the fact that you’ve only been in your current role for six months.

I’ve hired a lot of employees over the years, and here’s my biggie: It’s the whole resume thing. MIsspelled words, poor grammar, and inconsistent formatting drives me NUTS. Of course it does, I’m a certified resume writer.

But even before, when I was the director of two university career centers, it would make me crazy when candidates submitted shoddy resumes. After all, we were supposed to be teaching students how to write their resumes. Shouldn’t we have decent resumes ourselves?

ECC Services

ECC Podcasts

Don't miss a moment of Lesa Edwards' Exclusive Career Coaching podcasts. This weekly podcast covers all things career management including job search strategies, interviewing tips, networking tools, maximizing LinkedIn, salary negotiations, and managing your mindset around your career.