Job Application – Why Yours Was Rejected

It is only once their job application has been rejected, that most job seekers get an insight in why their job application failed.

Unfortunately this tells them that with some fore thought, they could have figured this out for themselves. Let me help you avoid these common mistakes, and give you some insider advice on how to maximise your job application success

Job Application: it’s a personnel thing

All job applications do not start with the job seeker, but with the employer. A job is approved inside an organisation through the combination of two forces:

  • Business need
  • The manager of the team in which the job will be fulfilled

This is an important insight, as it should tell you that the final decision on who is employed is made by that manager, and that the successful job applicant will be considered the most able to deliver the defined business requirements.

The result of these two forces is the creation of a job description, from which the job advert is derived. Only after the job is approved to this stage, does job application become a personnel process. But not recognising the human beings wholly in the personal exchange – the manager and the successful jobholder – is a key mistake of many job applicants

You and Your Job Search

A job application starts long before you start reading newspapers, crawling job boards, trudging to the Job Centre or chatting to friends. Your job search starts with you, and a clear definition of:

  • Who and what you are
  • What you hence offer
  • What you want to do/see yourself doing long term

If you don’t know what you want to do, then any job will do, and hence multiple job application rejection will follow

Job Market testing

Although you now know what you want to do, the jobs market may at that point in time not want those exact skills, in that search geography, for the pay level which makes economic sense to you. You need to test that the job market is offering that job at the right pay level, and this is where the real advantage of the jobs board driven job search becomes apparent.

Go to your favourite jobs board, keeping the title/skills consistent and setting the pay level to zero. Then open the geographic search criteria until the result shows at least 20 jobs. If you can’t find at least 20 suitable jobs, then your ideal job presently doesn’t exist in the jobs market. Either: go back to stage1 and think of another interim step to your ideal long term job; wait three months; or accept constant job application upset.

The second problem at this stage is having too many jobs to apply for. Again, go to your favourite jobs board, and if after filling in your desired criteria there are more than 100 job results returned, then go back and more closely define what you offer an employer/seek next and long term. Falling into any job will do syndrome means that you are not focusing sufficiently in the eyes of the employer on what you can do well/offer, and hence will be rejected.

Professional CV

Although it disappoints me to say it, as a Professional CV Writer if you approach your job search in a particular manner, you don’t actually need a Professional CV. But, for 95% of job applications, you will at some point in the legal and hence defined HR process need a CV. In the modern world, a one-size fits all CV just won’t get you the required telephone interview: the only output action required when an employer takes when presented with a good CV.

If like many today you heard a friend or someone in a pub used a free template successfully to get employed, make sure you don’t follow the herd: templates mean you don’t stand out from the crowd. Good Professional CV Writers create engaging 2page documents that make employers pick up the telephone, because they communicate that the job applicant has the desired skills to fit the job description, and show social fit with the organisation/manager. If your template doesn’t, how ever pretty it is or however long your list of hobbies and interests, expect to be rejected

Job Application Form

The one thing that job seekers fail continually to understand, and yet employment professional do, is that you can’t beat the odds of where you find and how you apply for jobs.

For instance, as an internal employee offered a promotion, your chances are 90%. For a known person interacting directly with a recruiting organisation, your chances are around 50%. Your best chance of getting employed via a public job advert, be that on a company website or via newspaper, are around 12% on average. Where as a “follow the process” application via a job sourced on a jobs board could easily be as low as 2%

So why do so many job seekers think that they will be successful spending more than 10% o the time on jobs boards? Rejection is bound into and dictated by the where your find jobs and how you apply

Job application confidence

This is the last point of job application rejection, and it is a general issue throughout the current job-seeking world: personal confidence. Job seeking in itself is a job, and it is a tough one. There is research, marketing, paperwork, cold calling, direct costs and worst of the lot: a high level rejection. Even the successful job seekers will be rejected at least once, which means that their success ratio is 50%. I haven’t yet met an unsuccessful job seeker who was in some way lacking in self-confidence. It is one of the reasons that I decided to in part cross the divide and become a CV Writer, because universally in most job searches the CV is a common point. If you read through this article, and are still wondering why you are rejected, then after looking in the mirror get out with friends and family and remember what’s important. After taking a break for a day or two, then go back to applying for jobs with renewed vigour, and seek some help in your job search.

In Part2, we will cover the actual job application process.

A job application is as easy as you make it for yourself, but the one big piece of inside advice you should take to avoid job application disappointment: if you don’t know you, what you offer, and what you want to do, then you will be: REJECTED!

Good Luck!

How to Use QuickBooks For Job Costing – Understanding Job Cost Reports

QuickBooks offers a plethora of standard job costing reports designed to give you the information you need to manage your customer and jobs.  Some of these reports are only found in the Contractors and Accountants editions, but many are available in other versions of QuickBooks as well.

Jobs & Profitability Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage.  

Job Profitability Summary – This report summarizes how much profit your company has made from each customer.

Job Profitability Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for each job phase you billed to the selected customer or job, so you can see which parts of the job were profitable and which parts were not.

Item Profitability – This report summarizes how much profit you have made from each item or job phase you sell.

Profit & Loss by Job – This report shows how much profit you are making or losing on each job.

Unbilled Costs by Job – This report lists the costs you assigned to a specific customer or job but have not yet billed as reimbursable expenses.

Job Estimates Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage. 

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated job-related costs and revenues. The report summarizes estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for all customers.

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for the selected customer or job. It compares estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for each job phase you billed.  That way, you can see which parts of the job you estimated accurately and which parts you did not.

Job Progress Invoices vs. Estimates – This report compares each estimate with progress invoices based on the estimate. For each customer or job, this report shows whether or not the estimate is active, the estimate total, the total invoiced from the estimate on progress invoices, and the percentage of the estimate already invoiced on progress invoices.

Item Estimates vs. Actuals – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated costs and revenues for the items and job phases you sell. The report summarizes estimated to actual cost and estimated to actual revenue for all your items.

Estimates by Job – This report lists all active estimates assigned to a customer or job.

Open Purchase Orders by Job – This report shows the remaining purchase order line items that have not been received and their expected delivery date for each customer or job.

Job Costs & Bills Reports:

These reports can only be found in the Contractors and Accountants editions of QuickBooks.  Some of them are also available in the Professional Services edition.  

Costs to Complete by Job Summary – Once you enter how far along each of your jobs are, this report summarizes the cost to complete each of your jobs that have active estimates. It also shows how far you are over or under your estimate.

Costs to Complete by Job Detail – This report drills down to the detailed estimated cost by phase to complete the selected customer or job, and how far you are over or under your estimate.

Job Costs by Vendor and Job Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each job, subtotaled by vendor.

Job Costs by Vendor and Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Detail - This report lists the expenses you have incurred for each job. This report is useful if you need to break out all material supplier purchases, all subcontractors bills, and all the labor costs for each job.

Unpaid Bills by Job – This report lists the bills you have not yet paid, sorted by customers and jobs. It lists only bills with an associated customer or job. This report is useful if you wait to pay vendor bills for a specific job when you receive a payment from the customer.

Unpaid Job Bills by Vendor – This report shows all bills you have not yet paid, sorted by vendor or subcontractor, and lists any customer or job associated with each item on the bill.

Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs – This report lists expenses that you have not assigned to a customer or job, totaled by vendor. Use this report to help identify costs that you may have forgotten to pass along to your customers.

Job Status – This report lists information for each active customer and job.

Customizing Reports:

One of the wonderful things about QuickBooks is how easy it is to customize reports and then memorize them for future use.  At the top of each report is a Modify Report button.  Here, you can change the way it looks as well as move, sort and subtotal the data in it.  

An even more powerful feature is report filtering.  Each filter represents a specific way you can restrict the scope of the report. When you select a filter, QuickBooks displays fields for you to fill in. The fields ask for information that QuickBooks needs to know to apply the filter to the report.

Once you have a particular report customized just the way you want, you can easily memorize it for future use by clicking the Memorize button.

If you need additional assistance, please call our QuickBooks technical support line at 888-351-5285.  We are here to help you get the most out of QuickBooks!

Job Search – What Type is Yours?

There are probably as many types of Job Search as there are Job Seekers.

But the global increase in unemployment has brought about a new surge in job applicants, many of whom have not have experienced the task of the Job Search in many years. The result is many dissatisfied job seekers, who feel that their Job Search efforts are not being appreciated by the employment profession, with a resultant increase in long term job seekers.

However, if they knew which type of job search they were undertaking, they would know what type of result they should expect.

Direct Offer: The Insider
The direct approach and offer from a company, is often a surprise to the person, who probably as not an active job seeker. This type of job seeker is already directly known by the organisation, normally through being an existing employee. You could also be presently working for a competitor, supplier or an existing customer of the organisation. If you are approached, you have a 90% chance of being employed using this method.

Networking from: The Virtual Insider
This type of direct approach offer again is a delight to a person who is probably not an active job seeker, but is presently not known to the employing organisation. The result of this approach is a testament to their clear personal elevator pitch and track record of delivery, and the advocation by others often within the employing organisation, or by people within a common mutual network. This is a fast expanding area of recruitment, with companies now paying existing employees for successful introductions of new hires. If approached, you have a 50% chance of being employed using this method

Headhunted: The Star!
Modern headhunting is about direct from client business orientated briefs, which are fulfilled quickly. While the client side of the business has changed little but niched more, the search and find side of the business has been transformed by the boom in social networking. Now, techniques like Boolean search allow headhunters to create larger lists of suitably qualified applicants, and hence offer better candidates who are more researched in a quicker timescale. The result is that these types of job seekers are again often not active job seekers, but can be concluded as stars within their chosen profession or market. You have a greater than 35% chance of being employed if approached using this method

Networking to: the Inside track
We now move from mainly passive job seekers to active job seekers, those who are either employed or presently between positions. This next two types of job search require the job seeker to:

  • Know themselves, and what they offer
  • Know what they want to do
  • Be able to communicate the combination in a personal elevator pitch
  • Be willing to research the desired/targeted organisations

This type of job search requires effort, and hence most job seekers avoid it not because they are more successful – often ten times as successful as other active types of job search; but because other options require less thought and effort.

The inside track approach requires that having decided to job search, that inside your target organisation/s you already have a previously developed contact/s. This inside contact may be as a result of you being a customer, supplier, competitor or business network contacts. Your initial approach is based on person to person conversations often over cups of coffee, making a subtle research based informational interview approach to asses who you should be talking to, and what they are seeking to achieve for the business. If you use this method, then you have a 20% chance of being employed from companies you target

Direct approach: The Navigator
The navigator approach is similar and statistically as successful to the inside track, but as you have no developed contacts inside the target organisations (start with a list of 50, whittle them down to 20 through simple research), you need to develop a contact base. With the development of business orientated social networking, and the increase in the number of companies offering existing employees bonuses for the successful introduction of new hires, this method is a lot easier than it ever was. It requires the same clarity of though on who you are/what you want out of your career as the inside tack, with similar levels of research effort on the target organisations, but development of suitable insider contacts. On average five times more successful than applying via job adverts in newspapers or job boards, with a 15% chance of being employed from companies you target on your researched list. This can easily be improved to virtual insider levels of success of 50% or greater with some more simple research and networking techniques, it just depends on how much you want a job with that company?

Recruiter: The Mountie
The next set of three job search options have differing rates of success, but have two things in common:

  • You will follow a defined HR process to be hired
  • As the positions are openly advertised for, you will have high levels of competition. Expect 5 people to make it to the interview stage for each single position being recruited for, multiplied by three fold back down each stage of the recruitment process (ie: application, CV sift, online testing, telephone interview, etc). This could presently result in 100 original job applications

If you undertake your job search via a recruiter advert, and having checked out the strength of the recruiters relationship and brief to make sure you are not being CV fished, and further have not broken the “three recruiters and out” rule; then your chances of employment via this route are 15% or greater. You can easily improve this to 35% or more if you know the right tactics and questions to ask. The recruiter often works in a competitive environment, against other recruiters and the organisations own HR people, to fulfil a position. If the recruiter successfully fulfils the position and gets their man, then they get paid; if not, then its on to the next opportunity. Good recruiters always get their man, and after introduction to the employer you follow the organisations defined recruitment process

Newspaper or company website job advert: The Jockey
Newspaper adverts and company websites are a good source of real job opportunity. Firstly, they require effort and or cost on behalf of the hiring organisation, which means that the jobs are real and not CV fishing exercises. Secondly, you are direct on to the organisation, although you have to accept that you probably won’t be talking to the hiring manager, but about to ride through a sanitised, wholly locally legal/ethical and HR managed/monitored recruitment process. Don’t expect to be treated like you or a human being, the process is designed to be selective in a non-judgemental way. You hence have little choice in the race you are about to take part in, expect that you chose to enter it, and hence have little ability to affect its outcome. Your chances of being recruited via this method once you hit the apply button or send your application through the post are between 3% and 5%, although this can easily be doubled with some simple effort

Job board: The Donkey
Of all the methods of job search, the job board is the most common and actively used by many present day job seekers. Yet, the statistics show that only 12% of all positions are fulfilled by job boards in any market. If so few jobs are fulfilled by job boards, why do most unsuccessful long term job seekers spend most of their days trawling job boards? Simply, it doesn’t require much effort to find or apply for jobs on a job board, but gives the job seeker the regular internal satisfaction of being able to say at the end of each day “yes honey, I spent the day job seeking!” As a recruiter, I know that some of those jobs “advertised” on job boards do not exist. The job board market is so competitive – with around 50,000 job boards in North America, and 50,000 around the rest of the world – that the cost of advertising a job on a job board can be as little as free. If the cost of doing something was free, and add in that you can repeat the same job advert for ever simply by ticking a repeat button, how often would you do that task? In a recent test, of 126 jobs advertised as available in a large city, an employment organisation found that the actual number of jobs fulfilling the search criteria was 10! When there are so many “false” or repeat job adverts, and when it is so easy to CV fish, is it any wonder that you chances of success via a job board can drop as low as 2%?

Job Search Conclusion
So, what type of job search are you undertaking? Statistics from various parts of the world show that a majority of job seekers focus most of their efforts in responding to job adverts from recruiters, newspapers or spending their time on job boards, where at best their average chance of success if 15% or less. Yet, over three quarter of jobs fulfilled in the past year have never been advertised, of which at least half of them are open for application from job seekers who just have to put in a little effort and know a few simply learnt tactics.

For instance, one job search tactic takes: 1second to understand; 1minute to learn; and within 5minutes applied to take your job search success in responding to job adverts from 15% or less to 35% or greater. Yet most would just prefer to go on proving the well known and proven job search results that they and others have always achieved.

The job search: what type is yours? Good Luck!