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I Am Perfect for this Job

Posted by Bob Corlett on August 15, 2012

You saw the job advertisement and thought to yourself, "I am perfect for this job. This is tailor-made for me."  Excitedly, you dashed off your cover letter and applied right away. Your resume is ideal for this job. You know you have a mortal lock on it.

Your next few days pass in a blur of happy daydreaming about how great this new job will be. You do your research on the company, tell all your friends about it, envision working there, happily realize the commute is only 15 minutes ... this is destiny calling.  Then you go for the interview.

In the interview, you had a great answer for everything. You knocked it out of the park. They didn't say it, but you know you are everything they are looking for. It's obvious, right?

And then you get your rejection letter.


First you are stunned, and then hurt and disappointed, and then embarrassed.  (What will you tell your friends now?) And then ...  you get mad.

How could they? No, how DARE they? What's WRONG with them anyway?

What's wrong is that you only had your interpretation of what you thought they wanted .. but you did not have full knowledge of what they actually wanted

As a candidate for a job you never see the full picture:

  • You didn't know that the hiring manager wanted someone with a different perspective than yours. You were too mainstream, or perhaps not mainstream enough.
  • You didn't know that the hiring manger wanted someone with different skills than yours, and that your brilliant interview answers revealed less depth than you thought you had, or perhaps too much focus on one area.
  • You didn't know how many people, or the skills of the other people you were competing with for the job.

I'm sorry if you did not get a job you really wanted. That's difficult. But the plain fact is that you can never know hundreds of factors in the hiring decision. And you never will. Just because you may think a job is perfect for you, does not mean that the hiring manager will agree . . .  so it's best to avoid telling them in your cover letter or interview that you are "perfect for the job." It does not come across well.

If you take an interview and think it's a perfect job for you, simply say "I am very interested in this position, and am confident that it's a great match for my abilities." But never presume that you are perfect for it, because you will never know what the hiring manager's definition of "perfect" really is.

To learn more about how hiring managers think, watch this video:

HubSpot Video

And for more suggestions on how to manage your career during an economic downturn, read our latest career advice. Learn more about our perspective on the local Washington DC job market, and read our tips for virtual interviewing.


Topics: Job Search Strategies, Job Interview Preparation