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5 things job seekers are tired of hearing. No. 1: Don’t take it personally…

Hello again.  This is the first installment of five things (unless I come up with more) candidates are tired of hearing others say about their job search.  As a person who spent over a year searching for a job, I believe I have unique insight into the subject.  This and the subsequent posts outline the frustrations which led us to develop a job seeker focused alternative to the current recruitment models.  I’ve heard it all and found most of it to be unhelpful and quite frankly a bit condescending.  I’m not trying to single anyone out or paint with a broad stroke, but rather talk about the experiences that every job seeker, no matter what level, can identify with and probably raise their hand when asked if they’ve heard this.

Again, I know there are good external recruiters out there.  I even know and like a few.  Job boards?  Hmmm.  I’m not a fan from a job seeker’s point of view.  Let’s just leave it that for now.  I also know there is some value in the newly crowned king of recruitment, broadcast media like the crop of Twitter models – but more on that in a future post.

Let me preface the following by saying that I think job seekers should use every resource available to find work, but there I go giving away future topics again.  Please keep in mind while reading that these are experiences not opinions.  You know what they say about opinions, but no one can argue with your experiences.

1. Don’t take it personally…

I’m tired of hearing that candidates shouldn’t take it personally when they don’t hear anything back about an application submission.  I know there are a lot of candidates applying for every position (120 for every job on the average according a recent article in the Telegraph), but that didn’t seem to matter a couple of days before when the candidate was made to feel like they were the perfect person for the role.  I won’t go into some of the assurances of a response I received during my year-long job search, but let’s just say it has obviously left a foul taste in my mouth.  I know it can take a bit of time to get back to everyone, but the negative result of not doing so is far-reaching.  It damages the recruiter/candidate relationship and has a devastating effect on the candidate.  Maybe not based on each individual instance, but add it up over the hundreds of applications a candidate may submit over the course of a job search and the cumulative effect can be demoralising to say the least.

When you think about it, few things in life are more personal than losing your job – behind losing a loved one, being diagnosed with a life threatening disease and possibly going through a divorce.  The feeling of being told you’re no longer needed is a soul sucking experience.  It becomes more than a loss of a job at that point.  It goes much deeper than that, especially if you help support a family.

Some of us are fortunate enough to have loving and supportive significant others who have a good job preventing us from struggling as much as many of the families out there wondering how they will get by month-to-month.  However, living with the pain of not contributing to the family bottom line is is a personal experience you don’t fully understand unless you’ve been through it.

So please, when you are dealing with candidates try to think about what it would feel like if roles were reversed.  Doesn’t feel good does it?  Hint: today’s unemployed could very well be tomorrow’s employer.  Take a minute to let candidates know the status of their application, especially if they have been unsuccessful.  This can be done quickly and easily by typing one email and utilising the art of the blind copy function telling all candidates they weren’t successful at this time, blah, blah, blah.  Even bad news is better than no news.

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