I am Not a Unicorn

Since job hunting isn’t difficult enough, companies like to set their expectations extremely high. I am assuming it’s really just to discourage people from applying, but is that the best approach to finding the right candidate? I am thinking only the very cocky, lying, self-talkers will apply and not too long down the road the employer will be stuck with them. Through my yearlong job hunting, I have seen the same jobs being reposted over and over again, some I applied for and never got answers. However, there are many I didn’t apply for because the expectations were too high.

Photo by Jifef Portelance – www.jihefportelance.com / “Graphic design” by me

Transferable Experience

I have been told by many experts to only write down what you can truly transfer from your previous job to the prospective job, however, some job descriptions are so long and detailed that you can barely write anything, even though you know you have all the qualifications for the position.

I often get discouraged while reading job applications, other times I analyse the posting so much in order to find direct links from my experiences to the ridiculous description. For example, and this comes up very often, different software. Each company uses different software to manage their tasks, calculate marketing metrics and much more, however, there are hundreds of software out there and they can all do the same thing. The importance is to know the basic principles of what needs to be done, not how to operate the specific software. Employers dismiss you completely (especially on LinkedIn) if you don’t have the “required” experience with a particular software.

The Unicorn Complex

Employers or HR staff seem to think that most people can accomplish studying multiple subjects in a short period of time or have multiple years of experience in completely different fields. As a marketer, I am not a graphic designer, a video editor, a writer, a photographer, a developer, a communications officer, an SEO expert, a sales representative, or an administrative assistant. I also do not have 5 years of experience in marketing combined with 3 years graphic design, and X years as a travel agent. This is RIDICULOUS! If you do not have the money to hire for different positions, outsource, but don’t expect us to be experts at everything.

What do you mean you can’t edit videos, you studied marketing right?

It is extremely difficult to stay upbeat and positive while job searching and finding unrealistic job description does not help in the matter. I understand that many companies can’t afford multiple staff members, however, they also can’t expect to find unicorns that magically can do everything. Normally, someone who says he’s good at everything, is actually only somewhat good at certain things and not an expert.

Employers need to focus on the core job that they need filled, the rest is extra, but not a must. If you need a Digital Marketing Expert, you hire a Digital Marketing Expert, not a person who has some experience in marketing and can kind of do graphic design and has written a blog post or two in the past. The value of that employee will be much lower and companies will lose money in the end.

No more unicorns

Keep is real people! Most people will focus on one field at a time, therefore you can’t expect them to have multiple years of experience in non-related fields. Think of how much education a person would need to be a marketer, a graphic designer and a communications coordinator. Stop thinking we are unicorns and focus on the core job and field you need to fill. Instead, focus on the core competencies and the fit with the team and company.

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