Why “I want to learn” kills your job application

I have been lucky to see many resumes in the past several months. One thing keeps coming back – the dedication of young professionals to learn on the job. This is their objective – “to grow”, “to learn”, “to gain new skills”, “to develop in a desired field”… and all of that gives the employer just another reason to look for someone else!

Why so?

As I have said numerous times in my blogs and consultations, the employer only needs an answer to one question – “Why should I invest my money in this candidate and not on any other of the 10 finalists? ” or to put it more simple “How long will it be before this employee returns the money I will invest in him/her?” or “What is their ROI period?” or “How much will this person cost me?”

As we all have learnt, business is about winning money. All the talk about CSR, values and consciousness are great, and more and more companies actually do take concrete actions to achieve good image and help community, yet that cannot happen at the expense of the business – in the end it is about profits.

Thus, a candidate’s desire to learn cannot be a deciding factor for employment. On the contrary, this will be more time consuming, it will have a higher possibility of error and it will in the end increase the risk for the company. And employers do not want that. Even if applying for an entrance position, the situation on the job market is such that employers expect high preparedness on the side of the candidate. A fresh graduate is expected to have some experience in terms of internships and is expected to have confronted (and successfully resolved) the problems that they are likely to encounter at their new job.

Thus, when asked: “Have you had experience in this field?” or even as early as writing your objective sentence in your CV, it is no time to pledge willingness to learn. Rather, spend some time speculating what the problems you will be expected to solve would be and come up with examples of how you have already successfully addressed such issues. Otherwise, you are in for a failure.

How you can get the information of what is expected of you – gather all the information before you write your TAILORED CV – read press releases, financial reports, articles, blogs … and gain an understanding of the company’s challenges and problems. Show how you can solve them before you are even asked and you’re a leading candidate. Fail to do so and you can go back to consulting job boards.

About Maria Bakardjieva

I am a licensed Social Media Strategist and Networking Coach who helps business and people position, grow and develop. I work at Explicata - an online marketing experts company. You can find us at www.explicata.com
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