You win, universe. I quit. I hereby resign as career coach helping the wayward un/under-employed. You know I feel a responsibility – a moral obligation, even – to help job seekers. I don’t mean candidates for my company – I mean job seekers who can do no more for me than say thank you. I just think it’s the right thing to do – to offer help and career guidance when and where I can. I've reviewed hundreds of resumes, mock interviewed candidates, edited LinkedIn profiles, made intros to other recruiters… but no more. I'm tired. I'm worn out hearing that networking doesn't work. I'm exhausted by the constant complaining about how much recruiters suck. The continual blame game has made me dog-tired. I am sick to death of apologizing for my industry and I can't explain to one more person that I am paid to find PEOPLE for JOBS, not the other way around.
How did I get here, you ask? What made me finally decide to throw up my hands and stop trying to be so damn helpful? It was actually a snide comment made about a recruiter I know personally. Let me tell you something about the Seattle market. It's SMALL. For such a big city, the recruiting/HR community is pretty tight. So when a job seeker I'd been trying to help threw a friend under the bus, I had ENOUGH. I was surprised to hear that this recruiter had been non-responsive. When I asked for more details I found out that apparently, the recruiter had been an outright bitch and treated my job seeker like day old dog crap. I was shocked (I told you I knew this recruiter, right?) and asked for more details. I got to listen to a very nice voicemail where the "bad recruiter" explained in the nicest way possible why this job seeker wasn't a fit for a role.
What. The. #^(%.
At first I just sat there, too stunned to speak. Then finally I said "help me understand. I get that you're bummed you didn't get the call for this job, but if you're not a fit, what would you like [recruiter] to have done?" Job seeker looked at me like I had grown an extra head. He couldn't believe that my recruiter pal wasn't going to "get" him a job. He also couldn't believe that the recruiter wouldn't just send him to the client, because the client should be the one to decide if he was qualified or not. My friend is a commission only agency recruiter. There is no throwing mud at the wall and seeing what sticks, people. As if that wasn't enough, this job seeker has apparently nominated my friend to be his own personal career concierge. It is the recruiter's job to find him employment.
I just… I can't even… what?
Do accountants deal with this? Plumbers? Lawyers? Is there any other profession that is expected to provide professional advice for free, and then get slapped when it's not "good enough?" I'll admit I ask professional friends and family for advice, but if I want my taxes done I certainly don't expect my CPA buddy to do it for free! Here's a better analogy – my friend gives me tax advice, I don't take it, then it's her fault when I get audited and have to owe.
I'm going to be honest. I don't know very many "bad" recruiters. Maybe I'm lucky, or maybe I just don't see it, but I like to think most of the people I've crossed paths with professionally are pretty darn good at what they do. If they are giving you advice, please consider it. Test it out. Get a second opinion if you want. But whatever you do, please don't blame us for your ineffective job search if you're not willing to do the simplest things we suggest. There is a lot of crappy, conflicting advice out there and you know I'll call it out when I see it. So help me help you, yeah?
I'll resume my self-appointed position tomorrow.