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Winning Friends and Influencing Recruiters

Y'all - I got my feelings hurt on the internet.

I know I know... you're thinking "what, is she new to the web?" or maybe "wait a minute she has FEELINGS??". No and YES. LOTS OF THEM. But I digress.

I get on average about 18.6 million pings a day from prospective candidates or other like-minded folk who want to do business with me/my company (that's only a little hyperbole - it's truly LOTS of pings). A lot of these emails / tweets / inmails / connection requests come from people who want to work for my company. 0.0001% of them are likely qualified to do the actual roles I'm recruiting for.

These are NOT "bad" candidates. They are, for the most part, people who are highly skilled or qualified in something I am personally not involved in. I don't recruit accountants. Or sales people. Or university grads. I work on a small yet critical piece of the Company family - engineering managers for a specific product area.

If you're looking for a job as a database administrator, I am not your girl.

That said, I know what it's like to be staring down an online application wishing just someone, anyone, a REAL PERSON would throw me a bone. When I'm asked, I do my best to not only respond, but also respond with some sort of valuable tidbit that allows the person asking to walk away from our interaction feeling just a little better.

It doesn't always work.

A few weeks ago a job seeker we'll call "LinkedIn Member" contacted me. This person has a background I know NOTHING about. I explained my role, also adding that I'm relatively new to my company and not sure how to best help, but encouraged the messenger to apply online and offered to give feedback on their resume.

I did exactly what I said I would do. We had a bit of back and forth ending with me encouraging this person to find a recruiter who focused on their particular skillset and have that recruiter (or more than one!) also review the resume and provide additional advice and even better, vet MY advice. Talk to an expert in YOUR field who just might poke holes in what I've told you to do. I left the conversation feeling kinda warm and fuzzy about my "good deed" only to get this shortly after -


Look I'm not saving lives here, ok? I get it. I spent probably and hour, in total, back and forth with this job seeker and reviewing the resume / drafting my advice. Maybe that doesn't feel all that significant or helpful. But dammit I TRIED. Not just tried to be nice, or respond to every single message like some think recruiters should do, but I tried to HELP. I gave this person not only a recruiter's insight but also SPECIFIC ADVICE on what to do next.

It stung, y'all. My logical mind knows this says more about the job seeker than it does about me. I have been doing this long enough to know that someone, somewhere, is going to not like you no matter what. While I'm using this specific instance as an example, don't be fooled. I get this kind of shit day in and out. This particular unhappy person could be any number of people I've interacted with over the years. And it ain't fun.

So the next time a recruiter is snarky or unhelpful or simply just doesn't respond, give them just a wee little benefit of the doubt, please? Maybe they just got their feelings hurt too.


  1. Amy,
    I understand your frustration. It happens all the time. Candidates expect us do do there jib for them. I ask the candidate if you find a job on our website that fits your background send me the job # and I can then forward it ver to the recruiter who recruits for that role. But, please understand that they will respond to you if you are a match with what they are looking for and what the hiring manager is needing. Most of our job descriptions are very generic. I hope this helps and have fun exploring our website for your next career opportunity.... Love ya, Amy!!

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  3. Amy,

    I work with career seekers a lot as well in my role. Sometimes they definitely expect you to do the work or them, sometimes they've hit rock bottom and maybe say something or take an action they never believed they would. Not that it's an excuse, we just never know what kind of knocks a person has had in life. I often time work with those in the military community and I think based on advertising about "we support Veterans" from companies, there is an expectation to some extent that they believe there might be more resources available to them. And then they reach out to a dozen people on LinkedIn from that company and not one person responds, I've seen the confusion and frustration many times over. Other times, I meet a Veteran who is the most driven, intelligent, amazing candidate. They have every recruiter and their mom interested in responding and helping in any way. And then they tell all their friends how easy it is to find a job. Even sometimes, a candidate just might not understand that what you did was helpful to them, and probably did significantly more than another recruiter who is swamped and might be experiencing compassion fatigue from trying to desperately meet their funnel numbers. I understand how valuable an hour and a half of your time is. So kudos to you, no matter the outcome or the hurt feelings, what you did was kind and completely unnecessary.

    I appreciate your candidness and unabashed smack talk. As someone who has very fun, intense (might I say, loud) conversations myself, I'm digging you blog style. And you DO have a very cute puppy, though I know it's from a different post!



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