Oh my goodness. I’ve just come off the phone with a client who’s got a job interview with an amazing firm on Monday morning.
This woman is smart, intelligent and experienced. Her LinkedIn profile looks amazing (well she did just graduate from my LinkedIn Challenge) and she has a fabulous mixture of domestic and international experience.
We reviewed the job description for the role she’s being interviewed for. Knowing her and the firm as I do, she is a brilliant fit in terms of skills, knowledge and experience. This is not a firm that wastes time interviewing people for roles that don’t exist. Her interview success will come down to her confidence and self-assurance on the day, and whether she’s a good team fit.
I am VERY excited about her interview and I can’t wait to hear how she gets on next week.
There was one element on the job description that she doesn’t have experience in. I was half-expecting her to say “They’ll never pick me because I haven’t got ‘mass recruitment’ experience“. But she didn’t. We discussed interview tactics. I shared tips on how to reinforce her confidence on the day and how to be ‘in the moment’ and ‘in the room’ on the day.
Now you’re wondering, so what’s bugging you?
Often when I work with women on their career and leadership confidence, it’s about exploring new opportunities – whether that’s with a different employer, applying for promotion or taking on new responsibilities.
And it drives me C-R-A-Z-Y when we review job descriptions and they tell me “I can’t do that“. “I’m not good enough“. “I don’t have the right experience“. “I’ve never done that”.
Maybe you’ve heard that statistic that women will only apply for roles if they are 100% qualified (whereas men will apply even if they only meet 60% of the criteria).
Then there’s the McKinsey report which suggests that men are hired or promoted based on their potential whereas women are hired based on performance i.e. experience and track record. And I know it doesn’t seem fair but now that you know the ‘rules’, it’s time to break them.
Nobody expects the perfect candidate
When I was a recruiting manager, I would put together a job description based on my ideal candidate. The candidate who would be a perfect fit. The recruiter’s dream candidate.
When you take yourself out of the running for the job, based on the recruiter’s ideal perfect dream candidate (i.e. the job description), you are doing yourself (and all women) a HUGE disservice.
Nobody expects perfection. Nobody expects the perfect candidate.
No room for growth?
Besides, who wants a job where they already know what to do and how to do it? Who wants a job that provides no room for growth? No opportunities for personal development?
What’s the point of a job that puts you right slap bang in the middle of your comfort zone? (And yes I get it that sometimes a ‘comfort zone’ job is what you need right now if your life is full to the brim and overflowing outside of work).
Reach out beyond your comfort zone
What I want you to do instead is to put yourself at the edge of your comfort zone. To reach out beyond your comfort zone. And that means applying for roles EVEN IF you don’t meet every single one of those criteria.
Think of the job description as a starting point. A guideline. A white paper up for discussion.
What to ask yourself
You might not have all the requirements … however ask yourself:
- “How can I demonstrate my willingness to acquire new skills?”
- “What evidence can I present to prove my ability to take on new responsibilities?”
- “How many times have I been successful in challenging situations?”
- “How often have I achieved beyond what I expected?”
- “How ready am I to prove my potential?”
What annoys me about ambitious women jobhunting
YES … that is what annoys me about ambitious women jobhunting. Smart intelligent women who don’t put themselves forward for hire and promotion based on their potential; who think they should only put themselves forward based on past performance.
It’s time to BIG YOURSELF UP.
What about you?
How can you big yourself up so that you get recruited based on potential not just performance?