But first, a few thoughts on the hidden job market.

A lot of people have spoken about the hidden job market. How 70% of jobs aren’t ever posted. Let me tell you this is a made-up statistic. Here’s the thing, the only time a job isn’t posted is when someone is promoted, it’s a confidential search, or it’s only open to internal applicants.

Posting jobs and receiving applicants is one of the easiest ways for a recruiter to fill their job. Last year, almost all my hires were from applicants. I’d say about 10-15% were referrals or sourced. You know what that says? Applying works! If you have the right skills, you are more likely to get the job than the person who doesn’t. Rarely does it go to someone who isn’t qualified.

Recruiters aren’t sitting around, not posting their jobs and making their lives harder. The easiest fill is someone who is already interested in the company and role. It’s much harder to poach a candidate. It’s easier and honestly preferred if an applicant comes through.

Tejal Wagadia

Question #1

Looking for a job is like wading in mud. By this I mean, you craft a resume, submit it for a job that you feel is a perfect fit—and then no response, or a rejection. How can a job seeker LEARN from that experience?  How do we know what to do differently next time? Couldn't they drop you a line with "You just did not have xyz" or "We were more impressed with another candidate's xyz?"

Hi Kim. Yes, it can be draining. You might not get the constructive responses that you’d like and that has to do with the legality of it. The company doesn’t want to open themselves up to lawsuits, hence they recommend no feedback.

If you haven’t heard back within 2-3 weeks, I’d move on. But before you do that—actually before you even apply—you should write down or print out the job posting that you are about to apply for. The first 3-5 responsibilities and 3-5 skills are what you need. You should then open up your resume and see if each of these responsibilities and skills are things listed on your resume. PS: Jobscan has a tool for this.

If your resume doesn’t have these 3-5 things, you should add them, as long as they truly reflect your skillset. Resumes are about communication; you need to use the employer’s verbiage when selling your skills to them.

Question #2

How should you handle a scenario when your job title doesn't represent what you do?  For example, my present title is Project Administrator, but I'm basically the Technical Project Manager. - Kirt

Hi Kirt, I am not a big title chaser. When reviewing resumes, I always look at job duties and skills that are required in the job and whether they have it or not. Job titles aren’t even industry-specific anymore, they are company-specific. Look at skills and duties/responsibilities do they match what you have been doing and want to continue to do?

Now comes the part about your resume. Your resume is a selling tool, you don’t want to lie but if your title is vastly different than your responsibilities, I sometimes suggest changing your title on the resume and application. For example, a friend of mine has been doing the work of a Data Engineer but that’s not her official title, I encouraged her to put Data Engineer on her resume as that’s the job she is doing. Until background check comes in, she is good and then she will ensure that her official title is on the legal document.

However, in your case, Administrator vs Manager is such a simple swap, I wouldn’t sweat it too much. If the company’s title is Project Administrator, but your current title is Technical Project Manager, it honestly doesn’t matter, as long as you have the skills, responsibilities, and achievements listed on there.

 

Click on the stars below to rate this article to help us improve the quality of our content