Apply For That Job

Couple of weeks ago, an individual that is in one of the Black Tech groups that I am in on Facebook, made a post. Unfortunately, I do not have a copy of the exact text of the post and cannot get the text because the poster deleted said post. I am not going to mention who said individual is because that is not the point of this post. I will say that I do follow said individual on Twitter and probably have a connection with him on LinkedIn as well. His branding as being a recruiter for a tech company is consistent and can be vouched for.

What Was Said

The post said something along the lines of "people should not apply for jobs that they are not qualified for". He went on to say that because people who were not qualified were applying for the position, it was a waste of his time and further delayed finding the candidate(s) that would be qualified. The original was longer and in some ways could have been seen as a rant.

From reading the post, it did have a subliminal message to it. In my opinion, the poster seemed to be frustrated with the number of applications that he had received for one or more positions that he was trying to fill, but a number of resumes or applications that he had received thus far did not meet or come close to the requirements for the position. Thus he could not even consider them for the position.

The amount of comments that the post had within the first 45 minutes... it was not a good look. A some people, who were also recruiters, agreed with him. However, a vast majority of those that commented, including myself, did not.

They About To Roast You

The comments among those who did not agree with the poster, had a consistent theme to it. It is not the applicant's responsibility to qualify or disqualify him or herself. That is the job of the recruiter or Human Resources (HR) person to do. As most people would do, they defend their position about a post that they made, but majority of the audience (rest of the group) was not having it. Why not?

The post was negative and condescending in nature. A number of people are joining tech and Black tech Facebook groups to see what the trends are, ask questions related to their field, and to find new opportunities and positions that are available. Because this post goes against every one of those points and more, the poster was ridiculed for making such a remark. After over 100 comments had been made on the post, the poster removed that post, only to make another post where he was called out a second time for the original post that he made. He then removed the second post that he made after it too gained a number of comments and him receiving backlash.

Apply For That Job Anyway

What I and a number of others stated in the comments of both posts was that one should apply for the job that they are interested in anyway. There are several reasons behind this.

  • Disqualifying yourself, has an impact on your mental health and whether you are actually worthy of the jobs that you desire. I have had to talk people from the ledge of not applying to jobs because they have had so much failure, received a number of rejection notices, or never heard back from the employer in the past.

  • When someone is not getting the jobs that s/he desires, then I or a mentor will to work with that person to figure out what it is that they are missing or doing wrong that is causing them to be disqualified from being considered for the position. The reason could be their resume does not convey that they have the knowledge to do the work, they have bad interviewing skills, or they lack knowledge in a specific area that is essential to do the job. Those that never apply to for the job, will never know if one or more of the previously mentioned issues are something that they need to address.

  • There are employers that are willing to take a chance with you because they see your potential. Some candidates have self motivation to level up their skills and not wait on others for their next opportunities. These self driven individuals are usually the best candidates for a position as they are self motivated and are good at managing their own workload.

Get Around The Gatekeeper

Recruiters and HR professionals that screen candidates do not always know the terminology or the latest and greatest trends that are particular to that field. They are the “keeper of the gates”. With a lot of employers, there are HR people that have the responsibility to review resumes and to discard the ones that do not meet the criteria. Those that do meet the criteria, are forwarded on to a hiring manager or added to a list of candidates that are allowed to be considered for the position.

Before continuing, I will note that this section is not to bash anyone that works in HR. It is to inform those that keep getting job application rejection notices on how they are often graded when they submit their application.

In my career, have been told on more than one occasion by an HR person that I did not have the qualifications for a particular position, solely because I did not have a degree in the field (usually Computer Science or Information Systems) that was being asked for in the position. Even with several years of experience in the technologies that they listed for the position, I still did not qualify. It probably does not make sense to you. It definitely did not make sense to me.

What I did not know then, that I do know is that often times, HR people are screening people without knowledge of the field that they are screening. What they do is that they have a checklist with a list of minimum requirements or keywords to look for on the resume or application. From there, they will check off the number of times a keyword shows up or whether each of the requirements are met. Then that checklist is then graded. If the checklist receives as passing grade, then the application or resume gets moved to the accepted pile. Those that fail, get rejection notices.

The problem screening candidates in this manner is that the person may actually be knowledgeable, could do the job well, and know all of the technical terms to a point where they can have a full conversation with experts in their field, but because their resume does not include enough keywords in it or they fail some made up formula that is made up by professionals not in the field, they get disqualified for a position they would really excel at.


The applicant knows his/her skill level and what s/he is capable of. The problem is that s/he has to prove their skills to somebody that is not knowledgeable about the subject that s/he is an expert in, in order to talk to somebody (e.g. the hiring manager) that is knowledgeable in the subject in order to get the position or job.

All this being said, I encourage you to apply for the job, even if you only meet some of the requirements for the job. It is not your responsibility to disqualify yourself. It is the responsibility of the recruiter or HR representative do that.

Posted: 2022-04-16
Author: Kenny Robinson, @almostengr