Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An Open Letter to Job Applicants

OK, so I'm hiring a new person for my office. And you know in this economy that it's going to be a "wild and wooly" time. We got a goodly number of applicants. Including a couple who "jumped the shark." By that I mean that they applied through our normal process but they also contacted my office directly. One of them did so several times. I am all for pro-active people. Believe me, I've been employed and unemployed. I've been laid off several times. I've been in the position of wondering "if" (not "when") the next interview or job opportunity would ever happen. But let me give you a hint, because I think the whole thing about networking has become slightly skewed in this economy. Asking for "an appointment to talk about the job" is not a good idea. That's called a "job interview" and if your resume merits one, you'll get an interview. Asking for that "appointment" 2 or more times in a week is a really GOOD way to land your paperwork at the bottom of the stack. Asking "did you get my paperwork?" is far more reasonable, but then, only ask once. Hiring managers are bombarded by many people: folks higher up the food chain who want someone interviewed; people in the organization who want their spouse or kid or cousin interviewed; people who want to be interviewed who are obviously unqualified, but desperately seeking a steady paycheck. I get it. But you need to understand that the quickest way to bug someone is to be a pest prior to the actual interview process. I wish everyone luck in their job searches. I know I'm very lucky to have secure (at least I think it's secure) employment. And I know I'm very lucky to have the benefit of many qualified people seeking the position we have open. Just don't derail your chances by being so persistent that we figure, "Heck, if they're like this NOW - what will happen if we hire them?"