Why You Should Never Apply For A Role

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 How to have a great career

I see this happen time and time again: badass career woman sees interesting role advertised online, applies for it, fully expecting to be invited for interview given that she fulfils 100% (or more) of the criteria, only to then be rejected or ghosted…

Not because there is anything wrong with her application.

Not because there’s anything wrong with HER.

It’s simply that the algorithm reading the application does not recognise her magic.

Because most of the time, there isn’t even an actual human being reading your CV and cover letter. And even if human eyes see it, the person will most likely not grasp your light from your documentation only, as words struggle to do that anyway, but also, the average CV reading time is 6-8 seconds…

So let me repeat: there is nothing wrong with you, or your fitness for the role.

But even when I tell you that and you understand that intellectually, that’s not quite how it feels, is it?

Worse than just not getting the chance to interview, is that this rejection will make you doubt your own greatness. Your confidence will take a nose-dive. The little imposter voice in your head will pop up and you will adjust your expectations for your future career accordingly.

I had a brilliant WINner in my program a couple of years ago, who had this exact scenario happen to her. She is in finance and had been with her company for more than a decade, when she decided she wanted to step up and move to a new industry. Because she was in a rather niche field (heavy manufacturing), she made sure to apply for a lateral move only as she wanted to go into banking, and didn’t want to “push her luck”. So she sent in her great CV and cover letter.

To her great disappointment and despite her obvious capacity for the role, she wasn’t even invited for interview. This made her believe that it was impossible to go into a new field after all these years in heavy manufacturing. And since she didn’t see any other opportunities in that industry, she – very unhappily – stayed in her company for another few of years.

When she joined the WINning career and salary negotiation program, I showed her a better way of getting her next (fantastic) role: having real conversation with the right stakeholders. Not using paper to convey her awesomeness, but her voice, her behaviour, her whole presence for a real connection, conversation, exchange.

Sure, doing this took more time than hitting “quick apply” on a Linkedin advert, but it sure paid off much more. Within weeks, she had four options to choose from, in different industries, for much bigger roles than she had at the time. Not to mention a much better package: if memory serves me right, she more than doubled her salary! 

So, my darling, if you want to truly step up in your career, please don’t apply for your next role. 

Be smarter than that. 


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