Jobseekers, don't let the search get the best of you

A recent entry, The Angry Young Job Seeker written by Amy Ala, speaks of the ignorance and downright audacity of a talented gentleman this recruiter was trying to place. Demanding, belligerent, arrogant, are just some of the adjectives I would use to describe the subject of Amy's account.

In reading the article, you get a sense that the author was trying to help the jobseeker, while also keeping in mind the needs of her client. She demonstrated patience, diplomacy, and understanding. In the end she couldn't in good conscience recommend the jobseeker for the job. There are those who go to great lengths to help jobseekers find employment.

So when a jobseekers commits follies--like the one Amy was trying to place--it's hard to believe the lack of common sense they display. It makes one scratch her head and wonder, "What makes people behave this way?" Let's go over some basic behavior to avoid when engaging in relationships with recruiters, HR, and hiring managers.

  1. Don't forget your manners. Remember when your parents taught you manners? These manners were meant to be practiced throughout your life. In Amy's article, the jobseeker surely didn't exercise his manners and this did him in. He verbalized his displeasure with having to go through another round of interviews, was inflexible in terms of meeting for an interview, and demanded “relo” fees.
  2. Understand the role of a recruiter, Human Resources, and hiring managers. It is their job to find the right person for a position that needs to be filled. If they recommend or hire the wrong person, it doesn’t bode well. Your job is to make them see you as the answer to their prayers, not expect them to be the answer to your prayers.
  3. You are not the center of attention. You are a means to an end, namely serving the organization that hires and houses you. This is an extension of the previous point. Your objective is to get an interview, land the job, and keep the job. As you rise in the ranks, your leveraging power will increase. Until then, do as you’re told.
  4. When the workday ends, those who can help you realize your goal have other obligations. This is my little rule. When the workday ends, I have my kids’ events to attend, not unlimited time to conduct business. Some recruiters, et al, may be more flexible of their own free will or because their job calls for it. In other words, they don’t work for you.
  5. You are better than a buffoon and a squabbling fool—If you’re a bit irritated but generally  agree with what I’ve written, thank heavens. If by chance, you’re saying who the @#%& is he to be stating these rules, chances are you’ll find it very difficult to land and keep a job. But honestly, you’re better than someone who would break these rules, including the jobseeker mentioned in the article.

Keep your dignity. With all this said, don’t be taken advantage of. Any recruiter, HR professional, or hiring manager who treats you wrong isn’t worth his…or her…weight in salt.  Many jobseekers approach me and ask what they should do if they haven't heard from a recruiter or employer after many attempts of contacting them. I tell them to continue to follow up but don't hound or stalk them. They're sending you a message, albeit a poor one. Your dignity is worth more than hounding fools who don’t know your value.

Read the article, and you’ll wonder how The Angry Young Job Seeker could be so clueless. The landscape of the job search has changed and the rules may not favor the jobseeker; but as I tell my jobseekers, eventually it will be a sellers' market. What a wonderful thing that will be.

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Tags: job, jobseekers, recruiters, search

Comment by Maisha Cannon on May 10, 2012 at 12:00am

Bob,

Enjoyed the post, especially this little nugget: "Your job is to make them see you as the answer to their prayers..." Very true!

Comment by Amy Ala on May 10, 2012 at 12:22am
Thanks for the link love Bob! Great follow up and solid advice
Comment by Bob McIntosh on May 10, 2012 at 5:42am

Ah, I liked your humble approach to writing your piece. Me, not so humble. Not to say I feel your pain, but jobseekers need a wake up call. "It's not about you (them)," as my wife would say; it's about the employer.

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