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  • Perfect Fit for the Position? Expect to Lose!

    Happy Job Interview photo from ShutterstockI was a Perfect Fit for the Position!

    I have heard it over and over about how you are a perfect fit for the position.

    I hate to tell you that, if you are really a perfect fit for the position, you will almost always lose!


    Let’s start at the beginning of the hiring process with the creation of the job description.

    Job Description

    I am going out on a limb to say that most job descriptions are badly written. The hiring manager uses the Internet to find a similar position and then modifies it to fit the position they want. They will put every possible qualification in the job description. This turns into a Purple Cow Job Description that is almost impossible to find a perfect fit.

    Your Resume

    If you are smart, you will customize your resume so that it highlights accomplishments, results and metrics (ARM) for each responsibility in the job description.

    When a recruiter looks at your resume, they quickly scan for these ARM statements and decide whether to call you. Typically, if you meet six out of the ten criteria, you will likely get a call for a screen interview.

    If you meet ten out of ten, well, they may determine that you are overqualified!

    You will likely get—at the very least—a phone interview.

    The Interview

    You prepare for the interview by researching the company and the hiring manager thoroughly. You probe for pain points during the interview and simply wow them with your expertise. You can do this job in your sleep!

    You walk out of the interview thinking you just nailed it. You then wait for the call saying they will be making an offer.

    You wait and wait and wait…

    You say to yourself, “I am a perfect fit. I can do this job. Who would be better?”

    The Problem

    You are a perfect fit! That is the problem. There is nothing for you to learn. There is nothing for you to grow into.

    The hiring manager is sitting in the interview saying to him or herself, wow this is one impressive candidate. Will they get bored in six or more months and then leave? Would I rather have a less qualified candidate who can grow into the role, possibly pay them less, and have them stick around for two or three years?

    If you are a perfect fit, there is no room for growth! Why would you want to take a job that does stretch your skills?

    This is an area where a lot of baby boomers get into trouble. Maybe they want to scale back and take on fewer responsibilities. They are a perfect fit for the position, but will anyone believe them that they will not get bored in a few months?


    If you really are a perfect fit for a position, you will almost always lose.

    Marc MillerCareer Pivot

    Check out my book Repurpose Your Career – A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

    Do not forget to follow me on Twitter or FaceBook

    Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.

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