I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you’re frustrated, annoyed, sad, angry, and despite your efforts, still trying to get a new job. I’m writing you this letter so that you’ll understand that it was not my intention to ignore you, leave you hanging, or cost you your dream job. I hate that your application got trapped in the black hole known as our ATS. I apologize for taking 3 days to respond to your email and even longer to call you back. In the interest of giving you a better “candidate experience” (latest in a line of HR/Recruiting buzz words / nonsense phrases) I thought I’d share with you ways to make both our lives a little easier. We both want the same thing, after all. A filled position means SOMEONE got hired. Let’s make it you.


Know yourself. What are you good at? What are you trained to do? Where have you been successful? What do you have to offer your next employer? Your resume is more than just a list of job titles and duties. Understanding who you are and what you have to offer is a critical first step in your job search.


Find companies that hire that. Remember who you identified in step one? Ok, companies that pay people to do that stuff should be on your target list. Assuming my company does, then yes, we should talk.


Talk to me. There I said it. Call me. Email me. Tweet me if you must. Just remember I am going to want to talk about steps one and two. Will you have an answer for me? Because if you say something like “I don’t really know what you do, I just need a job” I reserve the right to hang up on you. And probably say bad words.


Apply selectively. I’ve already written about how much is too much when it comes to online applications. Are you really qualified for this job? I’m not asking if you can “learn” it. I’m asking if you’ve “done” it. (Besides entry level trainee roles, of course) I included this step AFTER our conversation on purpose. If you are not comfortable with our online application I am happy to take a few minutes to talk to you about it. I will tell you what I’m looking for and how best to get my attention electronically through the ATS. All I ask is that you’ve actually considered steps one and two. I will ask.


Be patient. It’s not just a virtue. Pleasant, professional follow up can be a critical piece to landing your dream job. Don’t believe me? Check out this absolutely true story about a candidate who did just what I’m talking about here.


Sounds easy, right? Try it out, even if it’s with another company and recruiter. Let me know how it works for you – I really want to know. You can find me on LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/amyala , Twitter http://twitter.com/alarecruiter and desperately trying to quit Facebook for Google + at AlaRecruiter@gmail.com .

Views: 4208

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on January 31, 2012 at 3:49pm

That is great.  Good post. Thank you.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on January 31, 2012 at 3:54pm

Thanks Paul! Might seem silly posting to a recruiting site but you never know where these things end up. :)

Comment by Paul S. Gumbinner on January 31, 2012 at 3:57pm

Not silly at all. Like most recruiters, I occasionally post on Ladders.  Your comments are dead on.  Fortunately, the Ladders allows me to post anonymously, which is a godsend.  I learned the hard way.  When I first did it, I used my name and often got stalked!  So I fully understand and agree with what you wrote.

Comment by Casey Kuperus on January 31, 2012 at 4:06pm

Well said! Thanks! I'm relatively new to the industry, but have had these conversations multiple times with my candidates!

Comment by Sandra McCartt on January 31, 2012 at 4:22pm

Love it Amo.  Good post.


Comment by Amy Ala Miller on January 31, 2012 at 4:45pm

Thanks everyone :) Try having this conversation with your unemployed mother.... sheesh

Comment by Christopher Poreda on January 31, 2012 at 11:11pm

Perfection...well said!

Comment by Sally Raade on January 31, 2012 at 11:37pm

Well said and honestly to the point.   You are the talent scout and searching for the right for the right company.

Companies are always searching for the talents but then again, the company must be ther right one for the candidate to make it a win-win situation!


Comment by David Gaspin on February 1, 2012 at 11:01am

Well thought out and well written, Amy. Sometimes it's hard for recruiters to be as forthcoming as this. After all the relationship between candidates and recruiters isn't exactly a balanced one - it's much more personal for the candidates, and honest forthright statements from recruiters are sometimes not met the way we hope they'll be. Kudos to you for laying it all out here.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on February 1, 2012 at 11:05am

Great post Amy (as always)!


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