You respond to 10-15 ads a day, so why can’t you find a job?

Ads for jobs...

Once upon a time people would read newspapers like “Corriere della Sera” on a Friday and cut out the ads, and respond to these during the week with a letter that would be sent by post – and the system actually worked!

And what about the situation now with internet???

This approach no longer works … or doesn’t seem to work!

Job ads for changing job

Let’s see “what’s behind it”.

There are some job search and recruitment agencies that have a solid grounding in an area and know that some of their customers periodically require a certain type of professional. To be ready for the requests by the market it is therefore useful – for these agencies) – to publish generic ads for the types of professionals, that are periodically required and collect the details on potential candidates. Some of these candidates might even be interviewed by or invited to a preliminary interview. It is an opportunity for people looking for work, but there might not be any job available in the short term.

There are companies that, publish ads for positions to demonstrate that they’re doing well and have work. It’s a means of telling the market that they’re in good health and and expanding their workforce. But there are no positions behind these ads. 

There are companies who have already decided who to promote for a specific position, but – for “political” reasons in the broadest sense – publish the ad and open the selection process to people outside the company to then confirm – after a selection process that might last for months – that the position had been filled internally.

There are some ads that are specific: a specific type of person is sought who has a certain type of academic background, a certain experience, certain characteristics. The briefing by the company that is seeking the person (which is then used for the ad) is very precise: a certain type of person, e.g. that they come from company x, y or z, are x years old, they are male/female, have certain type of feature and a specific experience. They won’t be so specific in the ad that is published (to avoid breaching  equal opportunity legislation) so only a few of these things is written. They don’t mean something else, but they also mean other things. Not everyone knows how to read ads.  Sometimes you might not be contacted because you don’t fit other criteria that have not been stated expressly.

There are other ads still that you respond to because even though you don’t fit all the criteria, you fit some of it. The problem is that you need to fulfil the necessary criteria otherwise you’ll be rejected immediately in the recruitment process.  A person once said to me: “they’re not going to find someone with all those characteristics so they’re bound to consider me!”. Ok, but a company is only going to pay the recruitment company if they find what they’re looking for or “nearly”! The company may have already exhausted other search procedures and is now willing to pay to find exactly what they want.

There are ads you respond to because you want to be be considered by the company that is publishing the ad for other potential positions. In this case it’s best to write to the company directly. Because the recruitment will be conducted by a “real” person. This person will respect the requested criteria and their objective will be to find the type of candidate their customer is looking for. Everyone else will be rejected. In reality automatic instruments scanning information contained in a curriculum vitae are becoming more common, and these will obviously relate to the search criteria.

Finally, if you again think that behind the recruitment process there are people doing a job, just think that they receive hundred hundreds of CVs for a position. Not all of them are read or even considered. I hate to see it, but it’s true. If I’m a recruiter and consider the first fifty CV and from these I identify a dozen candidates to interview, I’ll leave the others aside and proceed on a dozen or so candidates from which I’ll select a final 5 and from these only 3 may be presented to the customer. And what about the others? Again I hate to say it but you might as well know that the other are treated like spam.

The ads are a business instrument with market rules and strict market rules and principles and a precise target of people.

The good news is that you ads aren't the only means of looking for work– have you though about that?!

About the author
Cristina Gianotti
For more than fifteen years Cristina Gianotti has been working in Coaching - Career, Executive and Business Coaching – supporting managers, professionals and entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in themselves and their own professional development. She comes from a management consulting, management and entrepreneurial background. In 2016 she published her fisrt book "E' facile cambiare lavoro se sai come fare" (It is easy to change job if knowing how) with bookabook. In 2018 the second one "Connecting Dots: il networking questo sconosciuto" (Connetting dots: the unknow professional networking").

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