Friday, May 18, 2007

Career Advice: Continue Looking

I'm coming off of a busy recruiting time with an average of one new opening coming up a day. With all those openings, I've been talking to both new and old contacts. I've noticed a distinct difference in job seekers; those you are in search of a job and those who are in search of a career. And the main difference is how they handle themselves once they get a new job.

Whenever I post a job on one of the employment websites I'm inundated with resumes. I typically get 20 a day during the first two weeks an ad runs. I diligently go through the resumes, input them in my database, and contact applicants about current openings. I also send out the obligatory email to all responders that they will be kept under consideration.

The surprising thing to many applicants is that I do keep all those resumes under consideration, and often contact someone 1-2 months after they originally sent in their resume. Sometimes it is several months to over a year before I contact certain applicants. What happens next is very interesting.

When I contact someone who I've talked to in the past, most often they update me on what's been going on in their job and job search. They may have gotten a promotion, there may have been a management change, or they switched companies. Most often, people who are interested in keeping an eye out for future openings let me know that although they are very happy in their current situation, they would enjoy hearing about future opportunities.

The other camp simply says they are no longer looking for a job and end all communication. In the old days I may have taken this personally, but with my tough skin I understand that this person simply is done with the job search, and may contact me again down the road. But for them right now, they are concentrating on the job at hand, not their overall career.

The most productive client and job seeker relationships I have had are with people who are open to hear about potential candidates and about future opportunities. Within my database I update job seekers' profiles, input their hopes for future positions, and put down my thoughts on possible employers. When an appropriate position comes up, I will reach out to old contacts--and often times they are the ideal candidate this time around.

So, if you are looking to manage your career, keep your ear open to a recruiter's call. Not only will it help the recruiter keep up on what's going on with you, but you will have insight into the types of opportunities out there, and help decide the timing of your next career step.

Or you can start the whole job search over again when you determine the new job isn't all it was cracked up to be. Your choice.

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