Job Openings: the “Too-Perfect-Fit” Dilemma

A Military Resumes client (who happens to be a very savvy senior enlisted Intelligence Analyst), recently shared her frustration regarding the arbitrary barriers companies impose in their job openings. Nearly every military job seeker who has been around the block has encountered the “too-perfect-fit” job opening. This opening has so many specific requirements, only the incumbent or the candidate they have already decided to recruit could possibly fill the position. So should seemingly insurmountable obstacles prevent you from applying for your ideal position? I say no.

Many well-intentioned requisites, such as minimum years of experience and/or educational requirements, actually end-up working against hiring managers… and it is only a matter of time before this truth reveals itself. Who would you rather hire? A person who has 10 years of experience with marginal accomplishments and little ambition or an individual who outperforms all of their peers, no matter their length of experience, even though they’ve only been in the industry for seven years? At the end of the day, hiring managers are really looking for a return on their hiring investment and not a piece of paper or an arbitrary number.

The fact that some companies focus too narrowly on their industries often scares off military job seekers as well. But while an HR representative may be the one to point out that an otherwise impressive military-experienced candidate lacks specific experience with widget X, the CEO might not be willing to pass up a candidate with a documented track record of success improving efficiencies in their military unit and performing under challenging circumstances.

The success of the nation’s leading military-focused recruiting firm, Bradley-Morris, Inc. (BMI), in matching military job seekers with careers in the Fortune 1000 is evidence that military experience is valuable within a variety of industries. BMI markets the value of military experience and works with companies who need perpetual sources of talent, diverse candidates and team-oriented individuals – all of which are found in the military talent pool. Since 1991, BMI has helped companies understand which military occupational specialties have proven successful in their industry previously – no widget X experience necessary.

So now that we’ve revealed these “obstacles” for what they really are – arbitrary requests unlikely to be exactly matched – how should a military job seeker surmount them? I suggest starting with your military resume. With so many resumes circulating today, if military job seekers do not communicate their transferability in 15-20 seconds, they will not get a second look. So during this difficult economic time where military job seekers might opt to skimp on their military resumes, understand that by doing so, they may also be skimping on their futures. I highly suggest investing your time in communicating your value more effectively and convincingly. Your job search will be the better for it.

Or, if you don’t have the time to do it yourself, trust your experience and military resume to professional military resume writers (the writers at Military Resumes are experts in demonstrating transferability in their clients’ military resumes), ones who will represent you as the next best fit… next to the one that doesn’t exist!