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Job Hunting in Learning & Development Brings Unique Barriers

Navigate L&D recruitment for your unique needs

Vanessa Rodriguez
May 2024

Navigating the Learning & Development (L&D) job market can be an overwhelming experience for professionals seeking to find another job or a meaningful career advancement. With many new L&D professionals entering the field, it's added more difficulty in being noticed by hiring managers.


Additionally, many capable Instructional Designers struggle to get their resumes past ATS systems and recruiters, despite being well-suited for the job based on the description. This common issue often leaves qualified instructional designers feeling inadequate when they are not selected for an interview.


We delve into the options you have to overcome these barriers of entry to get you seen.

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Challenges you face

Overcoming those challenges

ATS rejections

Up to 75% of qualified resumes are rejected by any applicant tracking system (ATS) due to keywords, formatting, and job titles incongruencies. 

If you're applying for an eLearning Developer position and all your previous job titles were as an Instructional Designer, you will likely get auto-rejected by an ATS. Why? The ATS is looking for similar keywords to "eLearning" and "Developer", and Instructional Designer doesn't fit into that.

Thus, automatically rejecting many candidates, especially if your job descriptions aren't a great match for the ATS' keywords.

Solutions many use

There are companies out there that help you overcome these ATS barriers. Jobscan is a great company that allows you to upload your resume and the job description of the role you want to apply for. It identifies how much "match" your resume has to the job description, and informs you what needs to change in order for your resume to become a "perfect match" to bypass an ATS review.

It's certainly a good solution, but it does have some downsides.

  • Applying to jobs can feel like a full-time job. Adapting your resume to each job ad takes about 3 hours, so applying to just 3 jobs in one day can take 9 hours! 

  • It encourages falsehoods to match job ads. Including all Jobscan keywords can lead to inaccuracies, causing issues when hiring managers find contradictions.

  • Many ATS' are becoming aware of "resume matching". Now, ATS' are still rejecting "perfect matches" because of it.

LDM solution

Whether you're an eLearning Developer, Instructional Designer, Learning Experience Designer, or something else, we offer placement services to you for free. The only thing you need to do is create a profile within 15-20 minutes and be considered for dozens of L&D jobs. This especially goes for those who fit the mold of a "good hire".

6 sec. to prove worth

If you're part of the lucky 25% of candidates who make it pass the ATS, the next resume review is from a recruiter. On average, recruiters look at your resume for only 6 seconds!

This means only 5% of candidates are selected for a phone screen.

Solutions many use

With recruiters looking at your resume for only 6 seconds, you must make those 6 seconds count. Here's how you can do that:

  1. Results and numbers: it's much easier to read through a resume when there is data to prove your impact at a company and role. 

Made a Storyline template

to save on development time

Made a Storyline template, reducing developer time by 45%

2. Section headings: use clear section headings for skills, achievements, job descriptions, and education to guide recruiters.

LDM solution

With 10 years of Learning & Development experience at companies like Morgan Stanley and Vivint, our L&D Matchmaker (LDM) understands the difficulty of passing ATS and recruiter resume reviews, even for well-qualified candidates.

LDM understands your skillset and how your past experiences can apply to new training roles. As your L&D recruiting advocate, we'll introduce you to the hiring manager without you having to apply.

Interviews are awkward

In interviews, do you face scrutinizing hiring teams trying to find proof in your ability to bring value?


During interviews, many feel a power imbalance and feel there's a proving ground to showcase their training and development expertise.

This often results in performance anxiety and inaccurate reflections to the hiring manager of who the candidate is.

Some advice on nerves

They think you’re qualified. This isn’t a mindset; it’s fact. But it needs to become your mindset too, because you’re probably losing sight of it. Trust us, they would not be interviewing you if they didn’t think you were qualified. No interviewer interviews people just for the hell of it. The mere fact that they set up an interview means that they have already determined that you are qualified enough that there’s a very good chance that you might be the best person for the job.

The hiring manager wants to hire you. The hiring manager has an annoying problem—a job vacancy—and is hoping that you’re the answer to that problem so they can hire you and turn their attention back to the actual work of their job. They're going into the interview hoping that you’re the answer to their prayers. Little things that you’re probably already doing— but if you’re not, do these too

They’ve never seen a perfect candidate. If you think your competition is out there giving perfect, flawless interviews, please know that they’re not. No one gives a “perfect” interview, and you don’t need to strive for that. You’re just aiming to give a good interview that conveys a reasonable sense of what you’d be like to work with on this job day to day. You are a normal person, not some sort of professional interviewer, and that is absolutely fine. So is everyone else.

LDM solution

Interviewing via LDM is less stressful since you're pre-qualified by our L&D expert. Interviewers focus on culture fit rather than your ability & knowledge. All you need to do is bring your authentic self to these discussions.

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