Help Them Help Us

8 May

As job seekers, we obviously have our own set of struggles that burden our hunt for employment.  But we don’t consider the unique frustrations that employers face while searching for the right candidate.  Often, their grievances stem from fresh college grads, who are still pretty clueless as to desired career.  One employer has written an open letter to job hunters in hopes to impart some much needed friendly advice.

Dear Job Seeker:

Here’s the thing: I’m a Corporate Recruiter for IT at a dot-com company, and it drives me batty to see candidates who apply for all 20 of our openings on the Technology side: everything from Jr. Project Manager to Senior Linux Admin.  What’s more: you probably have a preference for one of the roles, and if you mis-apply to one position and get hired, you will be miserable, find a new job, and I will be right back where I started, looking for your replacement.

So here’s what I want to know: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?

Figure it out. Reflect on your joys/passions/ecstatic visions of professional euphoria, and connect them to the jobs you’re applying to. Make my job easier, by telling me what you want. Quoth Jerry Maguire, “help me help you.”

When you read the comments on the author’s post, you don’t see angry recruiters besmirching the incompetency and desperation of clueless applicants.  What you find is a gathering of concerned, albeit frustrated individuals, discussing solutions to what they view as a major problem.  “How do we fix this?” they ask.  The consensus is that they have to work to educate students about the opportunities available at their companies, and then open up a dialogue to see if the opportunity is a true fit for your ambitions.  It’s not a burden for them to educate you, it’s mutually beneficial: they find they perfect candidate, and you find your perfect job.

This is my blog. I do what I want.

Isn’t it nice to know that complete strangers care about your well-being?  Throughout my networking adventures, I’ve been constantly amazed at the extent that these randos will go to help me.  There has always come a point where they turn the questions back on me.  “Why do you want to go into _____? What interests you about ______? Have you considered this_____?”  Sometimes I fumble, sometimes I answer with conviction.  But I’m thankful that they’re asking me, because these are great questions that help me figure out my life.

It’s not enough to know that you don’t want your future to include the words “Arby’s” or “Is plastic okay?”  People are like, weirdly nice when it comes to giving career tips, but you need to have a solid idea of what makes you happy and what you want from your job before you solicit advice.


2 Responses to “Help Them Help Us”

  1. aaroncouch May 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    That’s great advice. When I graduated in 2008, I pretty much did what the recruiter was talking about. Looking back, I see how poor a plan that is.


  1. Help Us Help You, Take 2 « - May 10, 2010

    […] want to take a different perspective on Sarah’s recent post on “Help Them Help Us.” I’m one of those college graduates “pretty clueless as to desired […]

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