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How to Clear Human Resource Hurdles in Job Hunting

Updated on November 24, 2009

Getting Past HR Gatekeepers When Over or Under Qualified

It ain't easy. Face it. Today's job market is the pits with a ratio of six workers to one job opening and with 12.5 million looking, yikes! Better have a stash of money in the savings.

Employers are picky now and you may have all the requirements but one or two that they think they really need or would like to have. So their attitude is with the thousands out there surely we will get 100 to a single job posting (and they do), there must be one person. If not, we'll keep on looking. This pickiness is frustrating and more so for the many who have the quals but for one or two things. Then there are seekers who say they will take lesser work paying much less than what they usually get, but HR knows what will happen as soon as the applicant gets a job closer to what they normally do- they will split and leave the employer hanging.

Most job applicants are using the Internet job sites like, Dice, Monster, Career Builder etc. HR will tell you that if this is you major or only manner in sending in your resume your chances are not very good. One post for a job may yield over 100 and more resumes, so HR gatekeepers weed out those that do not fit perfectly. That is the goal and work with maybe the top 10 candidates. These HR gatekeepers or screeners only see black and white and sort according to what they are instructed.

Sick of networking? Who isn't?  That is the key again to get around the screener to the HR hiring manager. Find out who it is, their contact info and call them personally and point out your skills. Hopefully, the person will want to meet you in person and this is where you have to argue your value and why the skills you lack are really not critical to get the job done. Many times job requirements are overkill.

Of course, calling the recruiter or hiring manager may still not be enough because everyone is doing the same thing. All you can do is try. Maybe make a personal visit and reiterate your skills and accomplishments.


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