By Gary Williams, Ph.D., Talent Director, Management Resources, Robert Half

March Madness has concluded with a lot of twists and turns that few expected, even up to the championship finals. Once again, we saw a lot of brackets in the men’s and women’s annual NCAA basketball tournaments busted because of amazing efforts by teams many people counted out before their games ever began.

In sports, these types of advances have been coined Cinderella stories.

What’s the recipe for the makings of a Cinderella story?

Well, it is one part underdog, labeled on paper or in all the simulated models as significantly undersized and lacking the public clout of their opponent. The other part is a full helping of a team that has national prominence, is showered with accolades from all the experts, and, too often, has its eyes on the championship before ever playing the first contest.

The Cinderella story also plays out in our work as recruiters and with our candidates in the job search process.

Given the intense pressures of finding available talent, we, as recruiters, have needed to be more resourceful than ever in locating candidates who may not come from traditional backgrounds and yet have the qualities of that underdog who won’t back down from a challenge even when the odds are stacked against them.

We also have been faced with concerns over a potential client who struggles to pay market value or may not be as prestigious as the other well-known places to work. Yet, once we get to really know them, we can offer candidates an experience unlike the others. These companies deserve our same effort and dedication to helping them secure the best possible candidates. Who knows what those efforts might grow into?

As to candidates, you will never know if your glass slipper fits unless you try! Work with a recruiter who can help you market your strengths and battle your way into an interview. We know that once you get there, you’ll give it your all and impress them with intangibles that speak louder than what we see when we glance at your LinkedIn profile or resume.

There’s a reason everyone eventually cheers for the underdogs

While there is about a 1% chance of a No. 16 seed defeating a No. 1 seed in a basketball tournament, it has happened — three times, once in the women’s brackets and twice in the men’s — and you will never know if you can win the contest until you take your best shot.

Work with us, and together, we can turn your job search into a victory!

Looking for some help in turning your job search into a big win? Learn more about how Robert Half can help.

Follow Gary Williams on LinkedIn.