Job Seeking Zombies

Are you a Zombie?

The undead are pretty popular these days. We’re surrounded by tales of the non-living in sultry television shows, movies and webcasts.

Few know however that the Zombie genesis is found in recruiting where countless thousands of erstwhile candidates mindlessly submit resumes and applications without the prerequisite thinking and due diligence.

If you’ve ever violated any of the following you may be a Zombie too.

  • Meet Minimum Qualifications

Every position has a set of minimum criteria. Do you meet them? If not, why are you applying? Chances are the ATS alone will reject your application if you don’t meet the minimums, but if a real person (no Zombie) actually does see your paper you’ll be gone in seven seconds. And they’re gonna be annoyed you wasted their time. Think seven seconds isn’t much? Multiply it by hundreds of Zombies.

  • Follow the Instructions

A simple test for human behavior as opposed to the mindlessness of the undead is whether or not you can follow instructions. Posted jobs frequently ask for collateral information: resume, cover letter and salary history are among the most common. Pay attention though: sometimes employers specifically ask not for resumes or other items. Sometimes a keyword in the subject line. Did you use the requested format for submitting? Did you follow directions? If not, don’t be surprised if you aren’t called. 

  • Check Culture

Research the company culture: it may not be for you. I have a friend in the death industry (pardon the pun): she’s good at what she does. Its not for me though. Are you applying for jobs that you’re a fit for? Know something about the culture, the environment and the work lives of employees. It’s easier than ever to research and understand a little more about what it takes to be successful in a particular firm.  Share that logic in your interview: if things progress and you ultimately join the firm that isn’t the time to realize it’s not the right place for you. 

  • Know the Business

Zombies, if I had a nickel for every time a candidate interviewed with me without displaying the basic knowledge about my firm I could retire and buy a castle in Transylvania. You have to know annual revenue, key products and overall business strategy – most of this information is easily found with a few clicks of the mouse. How can you possibly demonstrate desire and initiative if you don’t at least get the basics? Know your own game for sure – but be prepared with a little knowledge about mine as well. If you want to get in business you have to act in a business-like way.

Zombies aren’t successful in job searches because mindless rote activity is not how jobs are found or won.

If you want to rise above those clamoring in vain for opportunity, act like a real human being. Zombies need not apply.

*This is a fantastic guest post from Christopher De Mers aka @ChristopherInHR on Twitter and from the website ChristopherInHR.*