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Jobseekers: How are you making connections?

I found this email in my inbox this morning*:

Subject: Please contact me if you would like to be my Job Recruiter

Greetings Recruiters,

Sextant by stebulus via flickr

My name is John Doe and I am looking for a Sales Manager/Director position in “Some” County, Idaho. Please email me at or call me at 555-555-5555

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

John Doe


(*Information fictionalized to protect identity.)

I will give John kudos for blind CCing all the recipients. But it does make me wonder how many others received the opportunity to “be his job recruiter.”

I’ve written about asking for assistance during a search, here and here. (Read those too.) Following is a portion of what I responded to John, adding to my (unfortunately) growing collection of “don’t do this” job search posts:

Hi John –

I appreciate the contact. However I am not a recruiter. I am a career strategist, producing compelling, interview-landing resumes.

(Know your audience. Group email? No clue what I do for a living? Don’t I feel special? Ya. Let me hop right on helping … although I did.)

I’d be happy to take a look at your existing career documents to ensure they are up to competing in a 2012 job search. I offer a brief general impression at no charge or obligation.

(Since he’d made contact with me, why not take a moment to mention my services and offer an opportunity for engagement. As I’m prone to do, I went a step further and “stuck my nose all up in his bidness” in an attempt to help with his job search success – whether I heard from him again or not. I continued …)

And if you don’t mind a bit of unsolicited guidance. I am a former recruiter. To be boldly honest, there is very little chance, when I was recruiting that I would have done more with this type of email than hit the delete button.

Recruiters find people for jobs. They don’t find jobs for people. And, they frequently segment into specific niched industries, working with national and international clients. (My niche was the lighting industry).

This correspondence gives no indication as to the industry in question. And it gives no indication of what value you bring to “me”, as a recruiter, or what value and benefit you bring to “my” client, the hiring company. The message in this email does nothing other than ask a complete stranger to “do something” (call or email) without any indication about what’s in it for them. In today’s market, with the current unemployment rate, it’s an “all about them job market.” {“What can you (the candidate) do for me (the employer – or in this case, the employer’s representative)?}

When I was a recruiter I’d frequently come into the office to find more than 300 emails had arrived overnight. Considering the sheer volume of information to plough through on any given day, the individual who clearly succinctly conveyed value and projected current skills into targeted positions, matching my open job orders, caught my attention. Those applying a shotgun approach to job search or asking for a “favor” without any indication of the value they brought were dumped into the applicant database or worse, quickly deleted.

Will I ever hear from John again? I don’t know. Regardless, I do hope he at least ponders what I said.

PS: The irony to this story is John’s job target: Sales Manager/Director

No (successful) salesperson on this planet would walk up to a potential customer and say, “I need commissions so you need to call me and place an order.” Even a non-salesperson knows that approach doesn’t work. Yet here is a potential sales manager or director doing the equivalent of just that. (“I’m for hire; call me.” “I need a job; call me.”)

Talk about missing a stellar opportunity to demonstrate salesmanship. This almost throws his sales prowess and expertise into question from the first contact. If he doesn’t call me, I do hope he finds someone to help him navigate the treacherous waters of job search 2012. Right now, he doesn’t even have a sextant and is trying to compete in a market requiring a high-tech, finely-tuned GPS.


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  1. DawnBugni says:

    Dawn, what a fascinating post. You have a real gift for taking these job seeker missteps and turning them into powerful teaching moments. Not only does this post showcase the naivete of the job seeker, it reveals the ironies in the request. When a job seeker can’t see beyond his/her personal needs and wants, it’s difficult to imagine how s/he could embrace the expansive expectations of any employer. Your patience and generosity come through here, especially for what appears to be a clueless job seeker. ~Dawn

  2. Dawn says:

    Hi Dawn –

    I love it when you stop by. You always add such value to the conversation. 🙂

    To another layer to this story … when I posted it on FB, two other career colleagues chimed in they received the same e-mail. Neither was a recruiter either.

    So, in addition to a blanket me-me-me e-mail, a missed opportunity at salesmanship, let’s add the mistaken belief no one (in the industry) talks to each other. He furthers damages his “brand” and his credibility by assuming we all operate in vacuums.

    Just when I think I’ve seen it all …

    Thanks for the kind words! You’re always welcome here!

  3. Ursula says:

    You said it right. The guy must not be in the right frame of mind to do such a thing. Good thing you have handled his email in a good manner.

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