The Truth That is Kept From Job Seekers

John Krautzel
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Potential candidates need many skills to even get to the interview during the job search process. You must compose a cover letter, put together a resume, make contacts within the human resources department and gather the proper references before your face time with people who may hire you. All of this occurs after you check for the essential requirements to make sure you meet them.

Former HR executive Liz Ryan writes five truths about a job search that no one tells job seekers. Instead of paying attention to outdated job skills or obsessing over every single requirement of the position, perhaps you should change your focus to remember a few essential truths about getting a job that interviewers may not reveal.

1. Qualifications Reside in Individuals

Qualifications reside in each individual candidate and not in some piece of paper. During your job search, prove you have what it takes to make the position yours as opposed to letting interviewers pore through your degrees, certifications and skill set. Essential requirements provide a framework for your skills, but only you have what it takes to communicate, solve problems, manage your time and use technology on the job. Focus more on your people skills, and the paper-based qualifications become secondary.

2. 50 Percent Rule

If you possess 50 percent of the qualifications listed on a job description, feel free to apply for a job with confidence. No hiring manager in his right mind believes a magical candidate walks through the door with every possible qualification. This means you can expand or narrow your job search to fit your needs.

3. Speak the Truth at the Interview

When you give standard answers at an interview, chances are your interviewer may not notice you. Speak the truth in the interview, no matter how zany your answers may sound, and the people in front of you may remember you among other candidates. If the point of a job search remains standing out from the crowd, try the truth instead of cookie-cutter answers.

4. Avoid the "Yes Man" Mentality

Do not be afraid to go out on a limb and call out your interviewers. If the salary feels lower than the industry standard, say so. Learn how to negotiate a salary and mention your true value to your potential new employer.

5. Walk Away From a Bad Job

Another goal of your job search should be demonstrating why you are the best fit for a company. That does not mean you have to knock down everyone else in the proverbial boxing ring. If the company feels like they do not want you, they probably do not deserve you. Someone eventually finds you valuable, so keep looking.

Keep these five truths about a job search in mind the next time you try to earn a position. Sometimes, you just have to realize your worth means more than potentially debasing yourself or groveling to an employer. You — the job seeker — may have more power than you realize in terms of finding that perfect match.

Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at



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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Blanca thanks for your comment. Anyone who is older and has been searching has probably run into age discrimination at least once. But that doesn't mean that companies are not hiring because of age. There are so many other factors that go into it. We think that just because we are older and are not getting a job - automatic age discrimination. But that's not necessarily true. It could be the simple fact that the young person just graduated from college with the skills and education needed for a certain position while you have not. Employers do consider the cost to training someone right out of college but many times it doesn't matter as long as they have the skills. As older job seekers, we must make sure that we are up to date on the qualifications and skills that employers are asking for. As for sex - that has and always will be an issue and I can't see anyway around it - sad to say. Just make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best light starting with your resume and up through and including the interview. Best of luck.

  • Blanca Rivera
    Blanca Rivera

    I liked this article, however there are some missing areas; age and sex. If you have more than 50, must employers understand that you are old, and not capable to perform, because you are not updated in technology.
    If you are woman, you are old and slow to learn or to perform. None of the two are necessarily correct. We the Baby boomers we are still performing at company levels, in some cases even higher but employers preferences are for the youngest generation regardless of the investment/expense this may represent to their finances while they learn the job. Last but not least the following are areas that have lost their ranking: commitment, customer service, loyalty,training just to mention some.

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