The mistake 99% of us make when applying for a job.

As someone who has been an employee, self-employed, and even an employer, I have had the chance to have a 360-degree understanding of the job hiring process. I want to share some tips and the secret that will multiply your chances of getting a job. I think 99% of the people don't know this secret, which is why most of them fail to get a job. The following may also be valuable if you are a freelancer who wants to earn gigs from potential clients, but I will write another post that covers freelancing specifically.

Let's discuss the root of the problem of why you get rejected in job applications. To understand that, we need to think from the employer's point of view. That is the only way we can try to understand and tackle the problem. The employer is the one who decides, so try to think like them. Let us put ourselves inside their shoes for a second. 

What is the interest of an employer? Do employers hire people because they want to help the applicants earn money? Do they hire them because they spent so much time with their academic studies, and now it is time for a reward? Or do they hire because they want to make the world a better place? No, no, and no. 

As cynic as this might sound, they hire because they want to convert your work into money, and they need to be very careful to find someone who is the best fit for that. An employer will feel a lot of insecurity when they are looking for a job candidate. It is a stressful time for them because they are making a critical decision for their company. That is where you, as a job candidate, can come in and find a way to clear that insecurity and stress from the employer and get the job. 

I can only remember two occasions where my application was not accepted. I got all the jobs that I wanted, not because I had the best qualifications, but because I was attentive to the employer's needs. I researched beforehand to understand what the company's current plans and problems are. In the two cases in which I got rejected, I had not informed myself well about the company and the job I was applying for because I didn't care much about that job. When I was asked "What do you think of our company" I just made up something and got rejected. I hadn't read beforehand what job I was applying for, and the interviewers would never want to employ someone who is not passionate about the job. 

So, the lesson here is to be attentive to them. Learn beforehand about the company. This is not about you. It is about the company. You should devoutly demonstrate from your heart a desire that you are sincerely willing to help that company. Note that I am not saying you should pretend as you care. They will understand if you act. Instead, you need to put yourself into that state of mind where you really want to help them. Just be genuinely curious about them, be positive, and go with the flow. They will understand that, and it will make a big impact. You need to put yourself in that state of mind both before writing the motivation letter and before the interview, so you express your genuine interest both in writing and verbally.

Suppose you are an employer, and you want to hire someone who should know Python. Would you hire Marry or John?

Marry: I have a bachelor's degree in data analysis and a master's in programming, with a successful dissertation in data analysis for Python. In addition, I have published four papers, two of them extensively studying Weber's law from a data analysis point of view. 

John: I have no formal degree in this field, but I really love Python. I am an avid self-learner. I forget to sleep when I start doing a Python project. I am very active in various Python communities. Here is my GitHub. I read about your company, and two of my GitHub projects are very similar to what you are planning to do.

Even though Marry seems to be more qualified for the job, the motivation of John is something you can't simply ignore. Besides having done research on the company and being positive, John also gives proof by mentioning that he has done a project similar to what the company is doing. Marry also has evidence of her academic qualifications, but that only proves her academics qualifications. It does not prove she will be fit for the job or that she will stay motivated. Moreover, you can say that John would be more motivated to learn new things as new technologies arise, but you cannot say the same for Marry.

The bottom line is, don't be afraid to apply for that job, even if you don't have the apparently required qualifications. Just be attentive to their needs, genuine, and wholeheartedly passionate in your job applications. They will notice it, and your CV will never get thrown in the trash. 

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