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recruitment fair in Sweden yesterday caused a bit of a stir as 61,000 people were invited to an event designed to cater to just one thousand.

The event was planned as an opportunity for jobseekers to meet with potential employers but ended up being broken up by police as far too many people showed up for the event.

The story, of too many candidates for too few jobs, will have struck a chord with many jobseekers in Ireland.

Too many people for too few jobs

Besides being a good metaphor for the challenges faced by jobseekers in markets as competitive as Sweden’s (8.6% unemployment) or Ireland’s (12.3%), the story also provided a good lesson for jobseekers. The event was designed to accommodate 1,000 jobseekers, specifically selected to meet employers but an email invite was sent to every jobseeker in Stockholm instead. The chaos that mistake created is the perfect reminder that there are always a limited number of good candidates for any given role.

As a jobseeker, you should always be on the lookout for the best roles for you. That means looking for roles that you have the appropriate skills for and jobs that you would like to have. When you’re out of work, particularly if you’ve been unemployed for a long time, it can be tempting to apply for every job you see. The longer you are unemployed the more you feel like any job will do.

Find the best role for you

The problem with that approach is that you are not every role will suit your skillset. There are jobs currently available that you could undertake that would not stretch or challenge you. There are other jobs that you could apply for but you may not fit the profile exactly, you might be able to do the job if you got it. As tempting as it can be to apply for these types of roles, if you got the first one you ‘d be bored after a few months and the second might take you those few months just to acclimatise to the new challenges.

You have a specific set of skills that would fit best into a specific range of career paths. You also have your own personal feelings about what you want to do in your career. Focus your job search on finding jobs that are best suited to you or adding skills that will help you to attain the role you really want.
Don’t just apply for every single job you think you might get. If you do you run the risk of getting lost in the crowd; like one of those Swedish jobseekers who turned up to an event they weren’t supposed to be invited to.

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