3 ways job seekers are like Halloween candy


I heard two couples have virtually the same conversation on Target’s Halloween aisle this weekend. It went something like this:

Couple enters aisle full of candy.
Person 1: Sighs heavily
Person 2: How do we choose???
Person 1: Silence

And then it hits me. Job seekers (especially entry-level job seekers) are like Halloween candy. Let’s explore.

1. You have a lot of competition. There are two aisles stacked floor to ceiling with sugary goodness, but there’s only so much space in your Halloween bowl. Employers see the same thing. There are about four job seekers for every job opening, but you’ve probably heard stories of employers receiving hundreds of resumes for a single position.

2. You start to look alike. Once you’ve weeded out the obvious low quality/bad fits (ehm, Palmer’s chocolate), you’re left with similarly strong competitors. Reese’s, Hershey’s and Almond Joy vs. Milky Way, Snickers and Twix. It’s really hard to go wrong. Likewise, you’re not the only candidate who has a great GPA and stellar internships.

3. You’re shoved in with the Christmas decorations. Come mid-October, the Halloween stuff is scrunched alongside Rudolph and sparkling ornaments. That’s because stores have competing priorities. So do the companies where you’ve applied. That job may be the center of your universe, but it’s only one piece of theirs. Just keep that in mind if the process drags on, or if it takes them a while to get back to you. They’ve been distracted by the penguin yard ornament.

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