Open Letter to Recruiters
Dear recruiter (or hiring manager or HR),
I see you have some job openings that you are making decisions on. I'm sure you are getting hundreds of résumés and are overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to go over, just to narrow it down to a few good candidates. I wish you well as you go through this tedious process.
Right off the bat, you'll see a problem with me as a candidate for this position. You see, for the last eight months I've been unemployed and busy looking for another job. I was let go with hundreds of others in a corporate downsizing. The month I got let go was one of the worst months in our nations economy, and thousands of my peers and coworkers ended up on the street. You know how the last year has been.
I'm an active job seeker, which is a problem for you.
I know you would much rather hire a passive job seeker than an active job seeker because somehow you think an active job seeker has baggage. If they didn't, why are they unemployed?
Somewhere along the line, a few decades ago, there was such a thing as job security and company loyalty. Being unemployed, especially for a long time, was not common. Today, however, it is more common than anyone would like. We all know someone who is unemployed and in an active job search. What was shameful yesteryear is commonplace today.
Unfortunately, the same biases and discrimination surrounding being unemployed from many years ago are so deeply ingrained that today I'm being looked over simply because I've been out of work for eight months.
I guarantee you that I am not in an active job search because of baggage. I am in my job search because of corporate mismanagement at the very highest levels. I have friends who are in transition because of various reasons, all outside of their control. Most of my friends were in industries that just tanked. Other friends worked at companies that provided services for those industries, and because of the domino effect they found themselves out of work also. Other friends lost their jobs because of internal politics, or because of management shakeups.
In my industry I'm at the top of my game. I know this industry and the issues better than most. I can do many different jobs related to what I was doing before, and I know I can jump right back into a company and make a significant impact.
However, because of the prejudices established many years ago, you are overlooking me. You'd rather prospect someone who isn't even looking for a job.
I want you to know:
1. I'm not broken.
2. I'm not riddled with problems.
3. I'm just a victim of the economy or politics.
4. I'm just as capable as any passive "job seeker."
Please consider doing away with your bias to disregard active job seekers, especially since there are so many of us right now.
None of us have job security, and just because we're in a job search doesn't mean we aren't the right person for the job.
The Active Job Seeker
P.S. I thought I was safe, just like you feel like you are safe in your job right now. You might become an active job seeker any day, no matter how good you are, no matter how much you impact the top or bottom line at your company.target="_blank">I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What???
Jason Alba loves career management, only because when he got canned he had done nothing to prepare for it. Now he runs JibberJobber.com, a website that helps job seekers organize their job search online. He also authored the book I'm on LinkedIn -- Now What??? Follow Jason on Twitter: @jasonalba
Jason also created a popular LinkedIn DVD titled LinkedIn for Job Seekers, speaks regularly, and is working on his third book titled Eight Lunches (a book for entrepreneurs).
You can follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonAlba.