Jessica Miller-Merrell | , ,| By
Sometimes writing this blog just hurts. I see people in their weakest or must vulnerable moments who are compelled to share their inner most thoughts, fears, and situations because I have a blog. I hate to see people struggle and living their lives from paycheck to paycheck or even worse with no paycheck at all. This is one of those times. Over the weekend, Samuel sent me an email. He’s from Alaska and is desperate to find work. He’s applied to over 200 positions and is frustrated because even for positions he is told from HR that he is “perfectly qualified” for, but he doesn’t receive a follow up all, email, or any communication back.
Lack of Candidate Experience or Human Compassion?
This is one of many emails I receive from job seekers every single week. It breaks my heart. Hurts me that recruiters, hiring managers, or HR can’t or won’t take the time or effort to engage Samuel through an automated email, phone call, or conversation like a decent human being. Some call this the candidate experience. I call it human compassion. This man is looking for answers that we, as professionals are not providing.
Samuel sent me a 700+ word email outlining his frustration, looking for help and asking for advice. He wants to do better and understand what the hiring manager wants, but at the same time, he’s bitter and angry. I know, because it shows. And yet he reached out looking for some assistance into his job search and understanding the HR psyche. Here’s my response to Samuel who’s “Desperately Seeking Feedback.” What tips, tricks, or suggestions can you add to help the millions of Samuels unemployed or actively looking for work in the US?
First off, I understand your frustration. I’ve seen both sides as a job seeker and as an HR person. If the HR person is not calling you back or returning your calls, it is likely one of three things:
- You are not qualified for the job or selected to interview, and she/he is too chicken to tell you.
- They are already interviewing for the position and you were not selected. Most HR folks will not give an update until the position is filled. This is just common practice.
- They have filled the position and failed to send any type of communication.
My suggestion would be to work with a friend or someone you trust that can give you honest feedback on your resume, cover letter, and interview. There is likely something that is keeping you from getting a job. Sometimes HR folks are turned off by desperation similar to dating. They are attracted to someone who is confident and sure of themselves. I’m not saying that is how you are presenting yourself. It’s a common hurdle that job seekers face.
Blindly applying for positions doesn’t always work and if you have applied for 200 positions with no results, it is time to try a new approach. Might I suggest getting out there and networking and playing the game. This means crafting a story or pitch that is planned and confident explaining exactly the type of work that you are looking for. Attend networking in person events 2-3 times a week handing out professional business cards and try to make connections. Job referrals and recommendations work better and are warm leads than blindly applying for positions.
I also have a job seeker community. www.secretsofthejobhunt.com. I recommend joining the site, (it’s free) and connecting and learning from others. We are getting ready to relaunch some new features so this will be a perfect time to get established, connected with folks who are also looking for work and experts who are willing to help.
Weigh In: Job Interview Feedback
What other advice, insights, coaching and feedback can you provide Samuel and other job seekers like him? Leave a comment below and give job seekers a fighting chance.