You’re an active job seeker. You purposefully review the opportunities on LinkedIn and apply to roles where you are qualified and interested in the role. You’ve read the job description and thoughtfully put together a cover letter outlining how your background fits their opportunity. You’re one of the first people to apply to the posted position.
Within 10 hours you receive a declination email. A diligent professional, you seek out information to understand why your numerous years of experience and qualifications are passed up so quickly. As a consummate learner, you want to find out if there is anything specific you need to focus on to be a top candidate.
The poster replies back that they are looking for someone who has already done the exact job, in the exact industry at the exact point the company is in its life cycle. The recruiter tells you that your background is very impressive but your last two roles and companies (where you were above the posted position title and qualifications) are not in the same industry as theirs and the companies you worked for were very large.
You ask yourself, ‘Should you point out that you did the job they are recruiting for before, and numerous times over, and have been progressed even further in your career?’ Do you expressed your desire to go back to an agile environment where it’s exciting? Do you outline that you have the ability to support them where they are as well as bring them to the next level?
It can be frustrating for executives who ‘progress’ (read mature) in their careers and the selection team can’t see past their own preconceived notions of the unicorn they want to find. It’s highly possible that the unicorn exists, and they may actually apply to the role. More likely, that unicorn is happy where they are because they are already doing that job and aren’t actively looking.
Companies could enrich and diversify their executive teams if they were more open to a Pegasus versus a unicorn. A Pegasus comes in times of need and lifts people to something extraordinary. A Pegasus is a sign to go beyond your preconceived limitations. A Pegasus brings symbolism of power, freedom, talent, and opportunities.
Choose someone who has soared to new heights and can show you the way. Consider inclusion of new ideas (gained from experience) and look at the whole resume for similar experiences.
For more about the challenges of our greatest resources, read the following articles.