More Random Career Tips Overheard in Conversation (Long Tail Revisited)
During boom times, you got a job if you had a pulse.
During these times, there is increasing pressure to hit the ground running.
Hence the push for job candidates to be so specialized. Perfect fits. Precise fits. Fit to be tied.
Two broad categories of specialization: Domain Expertise and Functional Expertise
Often recruiters don’t distinguish those categories or attempt to blend them too much… we want everything, but only certain things really matter.
We spend time, energy and miss opportunities by seeking a perfect fit, and we don’t put the energy into making the fit.
There are companies who shell out big bucks for pools of semi-qualified candidates, but then refuse to invest in those hires. Looking for more consistency in generating “perfect fits?” Start with reasonably good raw materials and have a reasonably good process for transforming those raw materials. That will be much more effective than seeking perfection, or trying to perfect unsuitable materials. The nice thing about people is that, unlike inanimate raw materials, they can be happy and involved in the process of their own improvement.
The obsession with hyper-specialized domain/functional experience and the use of resumes as the primary filtering device is especially sad b/c there are other, more important factors not viewable on a resume. Emotional intelligence is rarely listed as a job requirement but almost always crucial. Hence the dismal state of recruitment — good candidates always slipping through the net.
Even internship positions are competitive! Prior internship experience is (idiotically, IM(NS)HO ) used as a filter for entry-level positions (stupid stupid lazy recruiters). Now entry-level people face some of the same issues mid-career switchers face!
What matters at the entry level: willingness to work hard and have a passion to learn.
You can tell pretty quickly who is hard working and who is passionate about learning.
Also important, at all levels: Being a strong communicator.
Strong communicators have audience sensitivity, medium sensitivity and management skills.