The Myth of the “Perfect Fit” Job

When you’re job searching, you might find a job that seems perfect for you. The description is exactly what you’re looking for, the experience requested lines up with your own, and the company has a great reputation. But after an interview, you never hear back. What happened?

When it comes to the job search, there is no such thing as a “perfect fit.” This applies to job seekers just as much as it does to employers. You might think you fit 100% of the qualifications, when in reality you actually fit 80%, and another applicant fits 90%.

But on the employer side, they aren’t necessarily always looking for a 100% match. If you’re limiting your job search only to jobs you think you’re perfect for, you might be missing out on great jobs that would accept someone who matches 70% or less of the qualifications. Still confused? Here’s a bit more to why a “perfect fit” doesn’t really exist.

Companies aren’t just hiring based on hard skills.
As defined by, “hard skills are related to specific technical knowledge and training while soft skills are personality traits such as leadership, communication, or time management.” You might have the experience and know-how a hiring manager is looking for, while someone else has a bit less experience but fits the company culture better or has some other soft skill the company really values.

Companies aren’t looking for a 100% fit for the job qualifications.
On the other hand, when it comes to hard skills, companies usually don’t expect to find an applicant who fits every single part of the job description—they aren’t looking for a “perfect fit.” They might have a wish list of ideal skills and experience, but a perfect applicant might not exist.

This means you should apply to any job that you’re interested in if you match at least 50% of the qualifications. The company might even be looking for soft skills not clearly outlined in the job description.

Adapting your communication style, resume, and cover letter for each position is incredibly important. You can boost your qualifications by focusing on what makes you a better applicant instead of sending out the same application to every company you’re interested in.

There’s no such thing as a perfect employee either.
When you do get a job, you can do every single task expected of you at 100%, be the most popular person in the office, and still be let go if the company suffers a big financial setback. You can also go above and beyond in your job and never get promoted because that just isn’t a priority for the company right then.

That means you should never stop job searching. Always update your resume and job search materials. If you have a LinkedIn profile, keep it updated too. These days, most pay increases come from moving to a similar job in a different company, rather than rising within your own company. So always be on the lookout for that next job.

At the end of the day, hiring managers are people, not machines. Their hiring decisions are subjective, and you’ll never know just what went into their hiring decision. Beating yourself up for missing out on a “perfect fit” can be detrimental to your future job search. So, stop looking for the “perfect fit” and embrace the “fits a bit” mentality.

Have you ever been hired for a job where you weren’t a “perfect fit?” What happened? Let us know in the comments section below!



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