Why are intelligent people unemployed?

Smart people often cannot find work. What’s the problem?

 1. Resumes and profiles of many intelligent jobless people do not look as if they are actively looking for work. In fact, HR departments like to “catalogue” people. If the headlines of your resume or your LinkedIn profile are standard, like "CEO", for instance, you are easier to understand, find, and, eventually, hire. Even if you like your current job, employers will still try to headhunt you.

   However, if you have something strange, such as "financial wizard", written there (even if it this strange phrase describes you and your abilities much better), then it’s most likely that no one will notice you. Headhunters will have to spend more time to carefully read your profile and see if you have the necessary skills and experience. Moreover, your resume won’t be found in a search by keywords anyway. As a result, a lot of smart people who thus emphasize their remarkable skills in their resume strongly reduce their own chances at being noticed.

2. Resumes and profiles of intelligent people are often too long and detailed. One of the side effects of being intelligent is the ability to do more in less time.  You can often see 10 years of a smart guy’s career take up as many pages as 20-30 years of a normal person’s career. The problem is that this surplus of information is poorly presented.

   When an intelligent person begins to meticulously list all their skills, abilities, achievements and experience, a normal headhunter suffers an information overload and cannot quickly find what they need. Moreover, a long and detailed resume leaves an unpleasant impression of a man who starts to look too boring. It is better to speak briefly and to the point, and highlight the main points - experience, skills, abilities and education in a logical order.

3. Intelligent people often assess their specialization as too narrow, thus reducing the number of potential employers. This conservative thinking is generated by the conviction that everyone should always be in a sort of a some comfort zone and change jobs without any abrupt movements on the career ladder. Such an approach is completely natural and comprehensible, but not a professional one, and it leads to nowhere. If a person rejects all job offers not perfectly in line with their experience, they are likely to remain unemployed.

4. Intelligent people prefer to express themselves through affairs, not words. Their deeds speak loudly for themselves, so words are not needed. However, although the key hiring criterion, of course, is a person's ability to perform the necessary work, candidates nevertheless have to be interviewed before they can actually show what they can do.

   The know-alls should learn to talk about their achievements, talents and skills in a concise manner, so that the employer would immediately realize that they can be useful to him. You cannot rest on the laurels of your past achievements, and expect that someone will read your long and detailed resumes and admire them relentlessly.

5. Smart people are often too modest. Despite the cartoon-like stereotypes of intolerable individuals of Wall Street, who bore everybody by talking relentlessly about themselves, most of these smart people really see nothing special about themselves and don’t think they are too smart. Most people with high IQ believe that they are "normal" that all the people around behave and think just like them. Only over time do they realize that their actions often seem "weird" to others, such as, for example, the habit to solve math assignments in the evenings.

   One of the unpleasant consequences of this error is the inability of smart people to emphasize their exceptional qualities and skills and clearly express them. Neither are they able to speak (write) about their achievements so that headhunters respond to standard keywords that they want to hear (or find by search engines).

   This excessive modesty is caused not by an underestimation of their own competence (i.e. uncertainty), but by ignorance and lack of understanding of what a "different world" regards as key in the concrete candidate.

   The conclusion is that smart people should be a little smarter, if they really want to find a job, and learn how to present themselves to the world!

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