is an ancient Spanish word for desperate. According to a post on Wikipedia, a desperado “cannot wait for something to happen and sometimes may resort to violent or reckless actions”. Later in the 20th century, the term became synonymous with a daring outlaw. Think of an old cowboy movie where the lead actor goes riding into town and survives a swarm of bullets to take out the bad guys and save the girl.
But, for the sake of this post, we’ll be using the historical meaning. And we’ll change the actions of the desperado. Instead of violent or reckless actions, we’ll focus on a weakness that comes across in full view at just the wrong time.
Why? Because being a desperado in job search puts you in a very bad position with recruiters, HR folks and hiring managers.
To be frank, it makes you look weak. Instead of a person in-demand you are just demanding.
It’s sad really. Modern day job search desperados are people just like you and me. In normal circumstances (when employed) they are often highly confident and purpose-driven in their business style. But, as I’ve said in other posts, something happens to some people in job search. And there are certain triggers that brings out the worst in people.
1. A Lack Of Communication
This is probably the biggest frustration. Job seekers
expect news. Get none. And decide to do something about it. That something is often not well thought-out and is executed in a way that irritates the target. Just the opposite of what was intended. Check out my recent post regarding communication issues between job seekers and recruiters here
2. The Wrong Communication
Here’s the example. Job seeker applies for job. Feels qualified. Gets either a form letter or a clear “no thanks”. What? Me? This draws more emotion because now it is personal. “They saw my resume and rejected it. They rejected me! I was totally a fit for that job!”
3. The Extended Job Search
As the planned three month search moves into month six, things begin to change in the mind. The deep down confidence is still there. The memories of greatness still simmering. But after a while recent experience begins to trump those memories. Think of it like a build up of muck or residue on your shoes. You might start to walk a little different. The swagger shifts to a struggle.
The idea for this post came from a great comment on Linkedin. A hiring manager suggested that she could sense desperation and it was a significant turn-off. Yes, a qualified candidate can shift from the A-list to “off the list” if desperation is detected.
Does that sound unfair? Don’t the decision makers know that job search is hard? That it can be hard on the confidence? Sure, most of them understand that – they just don’t want to see it.
So, how do you go about being a proactive, hard charging job seeker without appearing desperate, weak or needy?
First the DO List:
Present a strong first pitch with your resume and intro – one that clearly outlines your qualifications and fit with the position.
Find at least one way to network yourself into the company. Using Linkedin or your local network, find someone who can walk your resume to the desk of a hiring manager, key HR person or internal recruiter.
the company and people with whom you’ll be interviewing. This combined with solid and engaging interview questions of your own sends a message that you are choosing your next role wisely.
Play the pursued, not the pursuer. This can often be the most difficult. You’ve done it all right up to this point. You’ve interviewed with everyone. You’ve received great, encouraging comments. You’ve even been asking some very leading questions about relocation, benefits and timing. No call for two weeks? Relax and focus on other opportunities. If they want you, someone will call.
Feel like one last respectful push might do it? Consider your second attempt as one that comes from a networked third party. Especially if that person got your resume in the pile from the start.
Next, the DON’T List:
Apply for jobs where you are not qualified. Small stretch? Sure. But if the company has asked for ten years experience in medical sales and you have six in the mortgage industry, don’t apply. Your asking for at least one of the above triggers to launch you into a pleading fit.
Get upset with someone for giving you honest feedback about your lack of fit. If you are not a fit, let it go. If you can, try to ask a few questions to see if you can understand (if not obvious) where you missed the mark.
Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
Be a pest. In this case, three calls are not better than one. Especially if each call gets a little louder, more angst-filled. You will start to appear, yes, desperate. Not the confident decision maker that can lead their company to the next level.
Make a fool out of yourself. Ever thought of showing up in the company’s mascot outfit to show your company spirit? Please don’t. And please consider every action you take before doing so. Ask a conservative friend or two in advance of any unique approach. I would say that most unique efforts put you on the water cooler conversation list – not on the call back list.
Plead. This can come in many forms. Pleading suggests weakness and asks a hiring manager or company employee or a recruiter to change a decision based on your need instead of the need of the hiring company.
Now, some of this sounds cold. And I don’t want to take all your tools away here. Everyone wants to stand out during the application and interview process, right? But sometimes in a desire to get our point across we can begin to sound desperate. Pleading.
You’ve heard stories where a salesman asked for the order unsuccessfully 99 times and was told yes, finally, on try 100. If you decide to make repeat attempts at a company, be careful. And do it with a relaxed confidence.
And make sure you really are the right person for the job.
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Categories: Positive Attitude