While talking with a candidate one day, I couldn’t help but be turned off by the words and actions they were displaying. I knew they were a good candidate for some of the positions we were working on, but everything they were saying and doing told me there was no way I could set them up to interview with my client. After my chat with them, I was reflecting on the day and realized how similar job hunting is to dating. You’re trying to put your best foot forward, not stumble over half your words or yourself, or spill a drink on yourself, all while trying to seem calm and collected.
So, how do you navigate this crazy job hunting world? Well there is no secret answer to landing a job in a week, but there are some things that will help you in the long run when working with a recruiter, staffing firm, or while submitting resumes on your own to companies.
FIRST – Don’t be desperate!
I’m fairly certain this has never worked in the dating scene and it doesn’t work in on the job hunting either. We have all heard stories from friends about that person, who just reeked of desperation. As a job seeker, you want to avoid being this person at all costs. If the words, “I need,” “I have to have this,” or any other variation of this pass your lips, just stop yourself there. It isn’t that we aren’t empathetic or compassionate to your situation; it’s that a lot of our candidates are in the same situation and we are working as hard as we can for everyone. There are better ways to make you more presentable to employers. Instead of “I need” try “I would love to do this…” Make sure to always dress for success and be excited about a potential new opportunity as well.
Second – Listen!
No, seriously. Listening makes everything easier. I can say I’ve been guilty of this before, especially during an important sporting event, which of course is all of them. Listening shows you actually care. If we ask you to update your resume or application, we really want you to do this. Kind of like when your significant other would like you to take the trash out, they really want you to do that. By completing the tasks we ask you to do, it shows that you are serious about your search and also shows us that we can trust you.
The candidate who we ask to take assessments and responds with, “Why do I have to do this, I’ve been using so and so program for years,” has already hurt their cause and hasn’t even interviewed yet. The better thing to say is, “I will complete those as soon as I can.” You have to help me help you.
Third – You have to have an idea of what you want!
I’ll let you in on a secret – we stink at reading your mind. As a recruiter, it makes life a whole lot easier when a candidate has an idea of what they are looking for in their next job. It doesn’t have to be specific, just some things you like to do will help. If you love working with Microsoft Office products, helping customers, or talking on the phone, I can at least look into administrative, customer service, or receptionist positions for you. When you respond with, “I don’t know,” then I hate to say this, but “I don’t know,” either. Ask yourself before you come in to an interview what you love to do and what you don’t like doing.
While the job hunting world can be scary, much like the dating world, it helps to be prepared. Have a plan, show excitement, be yourself, and listen to what is going on. Understand that sometimes you find success and it takes a day, but sometimes it takes a month. We can help you, but you have to help yourself as well.
About the Author, Tom Piper
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska, Tom graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and is currently pursuing a second degree in Psychology. Tom began working for Celebrity Staff in January 2011 as a staffing assistant and has since been promoted to a recruiter. Prior to joining Celebrity Staff he spent time recruiting for high volume call centers, as well as working in the legal field during college. Tom has helped countless people find rewarding careers.