The Job Seeker’s Guide To The Galaxy And Other Places

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Don't Sit Still While You Think

There is an often quoted saying that wisdom comes from the mouth of babes. Children don’t have a trained filtering mechanism in place and their wise sayings are sometimes the revelation of truths that grown-ups don’t see or don’t want to see. They also have the beginnings of a mechanism to reorganize the truths into something more understandable to their level of development which may be totally distorted. My son went to a nursery school that had a sign on the bulletin board which read, “We promise not to believe everything your child says about you if you promise not to believe everything they say about us.” The age of the thinker really does not change the philosophy that speaking out without filtering thoughts may be statements containing stark reality. On the other hand, following popular misconceptions, misinformation and miscommunications can warp thoughts so that the outcome is nowhere near the truth. Unfortunately, failure to put these ideas through a fact-checking mechanism can cause faulty logic.

Recruiters have a daunting job that touches the lives of countless people every day…people with notions about the recruiting process which may be true or may be distorted. Opinions can take the form of constructive input to recruiters (who should always be listening for feedback!) or just plain unfounded criticism. For most people, it really has no bearing on their universe…unless they are traveling through the galaxy of a job search. Serious job seekers can muddle through and still find work, but to take their journey to warp speed and reach their destination without crashing into obstacles in their path requires plotting an accurate course. I stumbled upon the idea of advising job seekers to “Think Like A Recruiter” through real job seeker feedback in a most unlikely manner:

One of the sacraments of the church is Holy Coffee Hour. This may not be universally accepted by many and is certainly not an orthodox event sanctioned by any denomination, but I can say that this has been one of my favorite parts of worship. Discussions with people and exchange of ideas over coffee, the catalyst of human interconnection, can be a meaningful part of spiritual growth or intellectual stimulation. One Sunday morning several years ago, while engaged in a harmless exchange of complaints about my job, the topic of how annoying some job seekers could be actually spewed forth unintended from my recruiter mouth. “Sometimes they just don’t get it.” This one-on-one conversation gave me the opportunity to answer questions from someone who genuinely wanted to know how the process worked so that he could get past the seemingly insurmountable barriers and find a path to people like me. Without realizing it, I found that our conversation had attracted others and my words were now becoming an impromptu mini-seminar on how to get a job. Maybe a church, synagogue or mosque should be the place that inspiration is facilitated, especially when coffee is involved, but for me the message received loud and clear from job seekers that morning was this: I should understand how they think to improve my reaching out to them, they need to be trained on how recruiters are thinking in order to be more successful. My mindset was altered.

The most recent attempt to formalize this message of changing the job search mindset to put job seekers on track took the form of a series of articles on the topic. It is not intended to be a set of rules to follow and get a job. Anyone who sells a methodology or set of rules as “the” way is egotistical, uninformed, shortsighted, or all of the above. Any set of rules is more about what you do with them. It is like going on a diet: following the rules of the latest fad diet may work for a while, but statistics show that without a change in thought processes about eating the weight lost will not be a permanent change. “Job Seekers: Think Like A Recruiter” means that you follow a permanent change in mindset to make anything you do lead to a more direct path to a new job. It is “a” way to plan a job search. With this in place, the rules can be tailored to fit your personal situation. Thinking is the first step toward doing.

The series:

Job Seekers: Think Like A Recruiter