Too much employment opportunity?

Monday, May 21st, 2012 - 5 steps to employment, Job Advert, Job Application


Too much

employment opportunity?


In these days of economic gloom, a barely recovering economy and up/down unemployment figures, we are used to job markets where there are too many job applicants, and too few jobs. But markets still do exist where there are lots of jobs; in fact, in these arkets there is Too Much Employment Opportunity.

Now, you would think that in these markets, employment was easy, almost instant. You Click to Apply, and a short telephone interview followed by a hop, skip and a jump through a job interview, and there you are: working!

While in certain markets there may be more than enough jobs to apply for, the problem in this current market is that there are still lots of job applcants. Employers can hence be choosey, and you need to be on your game when applying.

So what are the problems when applying in job markets, where there may be too much employment opportunity?

Not just McJobs…

The traditional over wanted markets are those defined by the term “McJob“. The term was coined by sociologist Amitai Etzioni, and appeared in the Washington Post on August 24, 1986 in the article “McJobs are Bad for Kids”. The term was then popularized by Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, described as: “a low-pay, low-prestige, low-dignity, low benefit, no-future job in the service sector. Frequently considered a satisfying career choice by people who have never held one.”

(NB: personally, this is a complete insult to McDonalds. The reason that they got choosen to train the London 2012 Olympics staff is that their training systems work: they take anyone and make them “competant” quickly).

But other markets are now appearing as over-wanted, typically at this time of year (late spring/summer) in the graduate recruitment market. Yet job seekeers are still finding it hard to convert job applications into job interviews: why?

The McJob assumptions…

There are two key problematic assumptions of job seekers in markets where there is lot of opportunity:

  1. That the Employer will take anyone: Err, no! Hence why they are more than happy to reject everyone
  2. That you don’t need to adjust your CV, and hence Click to Apply will work: again, no! On top of the fact that like every other employer, they are looking for you to tick/cofirm that you have the 5/8 required competencies, they are also looking for the right attitude: trained or trainable. If you are coming in Over Qualified, then that is as big a rejection sign as under qualified

In fact, coming back to basics and the 5 Steps To Employment, you need to be more specific ad more focused for applying for jobs in markets where there is too much opportunity, not less!

Why you, why this job, why us?

I always wish that every job seeker could just look on job application from the far side of the interview table. But they can’t so, hence the need for services like ours and other to help job seekers into employment.

The three key questions that any employers needs answering before they choose the successfull job applicant are:

  1. Why You?
  2. Why Us?
  3. Why This Job?

Answer those three questions, and you can get any job!

Employer focus

Any job application has to have employer focus. In fact, from helping some recent job seekers in markets where there was too much employment opportunity, showed us that you need MORE focus on the employers need in markets where there is over opportunity, not – as kost job seekers seem to think – less.

Why? Aside from the issues I have explained above, on investigation the secondary key element came down to differences between company culture and hence company nomenclature.

For instance, do you think that a customer services suprervisor job in a compay of 20 employees will be the same as in a FTSE listed plc with 100,000? No, there will be differences, some of them quite major. Those are reflected in the job adverts for these different employers, even though the headline job titles are the same, or are very close.

Therefore, if you just read the job title, location and pay rate, and then click to apply, you will be – REJECTED!

What ever the employmet market, the basics still apply

However many times I look at the jobs market, and the skills and tactics required to get employed, they still come back to the same 5 basic steps:

  1. What have you got?
  2. What do you want to do and who’s recruiting
  3. Job Application
  4. Job Interview
  5. Package negotiation

In tactical job application, not readig the job advert and just clicking to apply will always end up with rejection. But in some markets you have to be even better at reading job adverts, reflecting in your job applictaion that employers needs, and hence answering the question: why you, why them, why that job?

Markets where there is possibly too much opportunity are certainly where more attention, not less, is required in you job application

Good Luck!

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photo by: Pecia!
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One Response to “Too much employment opportunity?”

  1. Jane Ramsey Says:

    Great article, thanks a lot for sharing this! A lot of people will recognise what you’re speaking about!

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