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Choices March 10, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching.
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Where do I start with choices that job seekers have? There are not many and they are all tough choices.

We are up against the worst  job market since probably the depression. It isn’t getting any better. The government is absolutely no help as they are controlled by finance and big business. Just look at AIG and Goldman Sachs, they bail them out only to have these companies go right back to business as usual and the government sits silent and does nothing.  Oh they put on an air pushing for reform but that was to appease the tax payers and then let it die in the media and congress.

Since things are so frustrating  job seekers are in a front line battle with HR and recruiters. This is one of those feuds that have been going on far too long like the Hatfield’s and the McCoys. At least in some groups the better recruiters are trying diligently to train job seekers and bad recruiters as to how it done properly.

It could be companies have agents to keep this feud going as it detracts from them who are the real problem here. Them! Yes they are the ones that can’t make a decision, they have no clue what they really need, and their attitude about unemployed need no apply.

Then there are there  job postings. What moron is writing these things up? They themselves couldn’t fill the position they are advertising  as they would be highly underqualified.

There are many merger and acquisitions going on which equates to more layoffs and then companies are still laying off anyway. AOL just laid off 200 in the US only. Thanks AOL for boosting the economy. I am glad I got away from them many years ago.

So what choices do we have with all this going against us.

The choices are these;

1.) Refuse to be intimidated by the situation and all the players in it.

2.) Resolve to stay positve and help others like yourself stay positive.

3.) Do not give up ever! Yes it is tough but you are a professional and do professionals throw in the towel? No! They find solutions. So find yours!

4.) Get out of the house, network, walk, get a cup of coffee or tea, visit a friend who is unemployed.

5.) Stick to your values and ethics.

6.) They cannot take away your knowledge, skills  and experience. But just because you are not working doen’t mean yu can’t use them to help you land that next job.

7.) Stop generating excuses and being a naysayer. Get positive and confident.

8.) Get into LinkedIn Job hunt groups and also recruiter groups so that you can have discussion and not assumptions. The good ones will help you.

9.) Help out around the house but wait until after dinner, your 9-5 is your job search job nothing else.

So it boils down to your choice is to let this defeat you or you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps and move forward.

Is it time to fight back? February 23, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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I hear horror stories form job seekers on a daily basis. I find it at times hard to phathom how recruiters HR and companies can be so insensitive and unethical and especially unprofessional. How these people are totally clueless to the impact that their actions have on them, their industry, their field, and their business. The fact that the leadership nay the , because they lack leadership, allows this to happen and in some cases condones it. i.e. unemployeed need not apply!

We hear from all types of sources that we can not use abbreviations nor acronyms in our resumes, which by the way are industry specific and widely used in that industry. However when we view job postings they are laden with exactly what we are not allowed to use. This double standard has a negative reflection on HR and recruiters but then they don’t care. They are of the school of do as I say not as I do. Well I for one and I am sure there are many am fed up with the double standard. I probably will not get the job nor do I want to work for such companies anyway so I might as well enjoy the process my way.

We see it on job boards, God why is anyone still using them?, we see it on LinkedIn and other sites.

I have started a campaign to right this injustice.

When I see things like “I’m Hiring” I will not inquire if they are talking humans or animals. Which MLM or insurance company do they represent.

No I don’t want to buy or sell viagra and no I don’t want to hear your how to get rich scheme where the only one making millions is you off of desperate people.

I will point out that the ad is confusing between abbreviations and acronyms and if I am told that it is okay for the ad because it is industry standards I will put them in my resume with a bold note at the top informing them that all abbreviations and acronyms are industry standards.

I will also make it a habit to point out to them poor grammar and spelling errors. Then inform them that I could not work for a company with such poor work ethics.

Our time is valuable as we work much longer hours than they do trying to find work so that we may survive.  So I feel it is in our right to dish back to them the junk they throw at us all the time.

Maybe just maybe it may strike a chord in their small minds and bring to light how unprofessional and callous they have been.

I pointed out the one HR person yesterday as to how it wasted my time responding to his “Excellent oppotunity” ad just to find out it was for sales. Yes that is the exact spelling from the ad and I pointed that out as well.

I received an apology and a thanks for the feedback and a promise that he would be more respectful in the future.

So it is a start of my mission for us all.


Dear Corporate America I am not resting on my laurels Sincerely Jobseeker January 21, 2011

Posted by jvmullin in Job Searching, Job Searching.
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There has been much discussion these past year about how companies and others are looking at job seekers.

They call them lazy, unqualified, deadbeats, entitled and others.

I guess they easily forget tit was they who put a high number of highly qualified people on the streets in the name of profits ans shareholder equity. Now instead of being part of the solution to help the economy they have become a larger part of the problem.  They are also assisted by the recruiting industry.

Can you blame the qualified people who have been out of work for so long to give up hope on landing a position with the treatment they have received and unduly at that. Shame on you  people! Your attitude and actions should be considered unethical and immoral to say the least. But this seems to be the attitude that prevails in America today.

A vast number of qualified people to keep their skills up to date have taken on volunteer work, consulting, contract and short term employment. They do this to survive and even at that it is a struggle.

But now you are even using that as an excuse not to hire someone. The practice started at the end of 2010 that is you are not employed you need not apply was the most absurd shoot yourself in the foot move that I have ever seen. Then you have the audacity to state that you cannot find qualified candidates to fill your open positions while you treat your employees like slave labor.  You are your own worst enemy.

The economy is starting to turn and you will need to replace a number of positions that you vacated. It would serve you right to not be able to attract or retain top talent.  It would serve you right for the people working for you now to not increase their productivity one iota. This is what you are facing for your sins.

I know a number of highly qualified seekers who speak with me frequently on their frustrations and how they have been demoralized by you people. IS compassion dead in the business world? It sure appears that way.

I have to encourage these people to persevere and to stay focused in their endeavors. I have to try to make sense of what is going on in order to give them some gleam of hope. I myself am finding it harder to fathom these actions that I speak of and can only chalk it up to poor leadership, which also seem prevalent today. I understand in business when things start to turn down that is is a good time to get rid of deadwood in the first RIF. What I have a hard time fathoming is the actions being taken against people who are qualified that were parts of the preceding  RIF’s. I just can’t understand the reasoning behind this abomination.  Were you thinking that your company was the only one that suffered the recession in your industry? I wish someone would explain to me the valid reasoning behind these insane practices so that I might be better equipped to explain it to my clients.

SO what I would like Corporate America to understand that the qualified people are not sitting at home on their ass watching soap operas and eating bon-bons. They are out there volunteering, consulting, contracting and working temp in order to keep there skills fresh. They are patiently waiting for the opportunity to help your company recover and move forward.  You are over looking one of the hardest working forces waiting  for this energy to be unleashed by you.  And you have the audacity to look down on such a valuable asset. I question where you learned how to run a business and further questions your leadership skills.

This blog will invoke anger as it is intended to. But I wish you to carefully consider is that anger really at me as a scapegoat or yourself for the actions you have brought about on others. Do these unconscionable actions excuses to help you sleep better at night? To be able to get up in the morning and face yourself in the mirror knowing there are seekers and their families suffering, being torn to the brink of destruction, due your decisions and actions?

I am running out of excuses for your actions. I used up all the business reasons and they no longer fly. So what is your solution or are you going to continue being the problem?


Lets tackle Recruiters and HR in a recession. January 4, 2010

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I am not here to condemn Caesar I am here to bury Caesar!

I am neither a recruiter nor an HR person to make this perfectly clear.

I have been in the position to hire people while an engineer and a manager.


Recruiters work for the company

There are good recruiters and there are bad recruiters

Recruiters have their own reputation to protect(if they are good)

Recruiters are working on numerous opening at once AKA they are busy (I do not use this as an excuse for what I have to say later)

Good recruiters do not cover every market or position out there they have their niche market

HR personnel come in all kinds of functions, generalist,  payroll etc

HR has the tasks of screening resumes for the hiring manager base don company criteria and hiring manager needs

HR departments have been downsized because they are seen as pure overhead and if you are cutting employee counts to bare minimum why do you need a full HR staff

Scanning software is used and HR does not even see most of the resumes filed they see what passes the criteria and weighting factors. So yes your resume has gone into a black hole or as I like to call it the Great Bit Bucket.

All that said lets get down to the nitty gritty here!


Dealing with a recruiter is a business venture! Like most business ventures they do not work for you either but you must enter into a business relationship in order to get the job done. Is this not true?

Do you not also have to do research to see if the vendor/supplier has the right credentials and criteria to help your business grow? Would this not be the same for the recruiter?  If your business is in the high end audio market would you look to a vendor who made seat covers for automobiles to be your partner? Of course not! The same is true of recruiters. Good recruiters ( notice I keep saying good when I want to emphasize) have a niche market they deal with. I know a great recruiter in the financial field we are friends but I would not ask him to find me a job because he would be ineffective in my search. Therefore I need to find technical recruiters who also deals with mid to high level management positions.  I can tell you there are not many good ones out there.

If you know of any please let me know.

Sorry I digressed.

So what am I getting at telling you this? A good recruiter will ask for a face to face meeting. If they do not then you may want to think about asking many more questions or walking away. A good recruiter will want to learn about your personality, your character, your experiences and your skills.  After all if he can find a fit for you that meets his clients needs he will need this information to represent  you.  A good recruiter will call you and discuss the position before submitting you. If you  do t want to work for Company X then why waste their time with submitting you. If you are interested in Company Y let the recruiter know. Company Y may be one of their clients and they can get you in the door faster and probably better represent you than you can.

A good recruiter can be a powerful ally even though they do not work for you. If you are the best fit they will get you in there. Once your are in do not ruin the recruiters reputation you may need them again in the future. This may not be a one shot deal so you want to maintain a good relationship with them.

Recruiters are bust trying to fill a number of positions at the same time. Here is where I condemn recruiters (sorry but I have to) yes it is true that you do not work for us. But professional courtesy and a little compassion helps your image and character and makes us seekers more willing to provide you with other well qualified candidates to help you out.

A quick phone call or email reply does not take that long but the rewards, while intangible, will be paramount in the end. After all it is your reputation that you are harming. The same is true for HR personnel.

Human Resource:

If that does not give a negative  image to them I do not know what would. Human meaning us resource meaning use and dispose of. Isn’t the term human resource an oxymoron?  It gives us the idea that there is no compassion for us the workers, after all we are just another resource like parts, and the energy to run the machines. It gives the appearance that these are cold blooded creature incapable of feelings. I know this isn’t true they have a hard job. However, it does not excuse them from a little common courtesy either. The represent their company’s reputation. IF I am trying to deal with HR and I do not get a simple answer or quick return on my status check then I start to wonder what kind of company is this and do I really want to work for a company that cold to its employees. I have stopped trying to get into some companies just because of their HR department. It is the company’s loss as I may have been the best viable candidate for the position.

NOW for us the job seekers!

Shame on us as well!

If we are truly as professional as we claim to be and we are as business savvy as we have stated on our resume.Then in a recession we know that companies reduce HR to bare bones, we know that companies cut recruiters to save money. We look for these people to have courtesy and compassion for us because we need a job. Well we need to have understanding, courtesy and compassion for them as well.

I just stated the facts for both groups. So  now there is no excuse for either side to continue this war. The understanding has been brought to light and neither side is a winner unless both sides change.  We are all professionals and we all need to remember that and conduct ourselves in that manner.

Now job seekers and recruiters:

If you have read and comprehended what I said earlier here is what your responsibility is in this; You need to approach a recruiter as a business partner not a smuck. You need to interview the recruiter as much as the recruiter needs to interview you. You need to find out how long they have been a recruiter, what their success rate is in placing people, how they work, who some of their clients are, if they have references they can give you.  You need to build a relationship and trust with a recruiter. You do not and I repeat do not just hand over your resume to a recruiter and then wait for results. Your resume is a marketing material that represents you and your reputation. Would you hand it over to snake oil salesman to represent you for a major position in a company? I would highly think not! Then why do job seekers constantly do this??  Is from ignorance of the industry? Yes recruiting is an industry!

Find the good recruiters in your industry or niche and only use them.

The last word is this; both the recruiter and the seeker have reputations they need to protect at all cost. Therefore an understanding of this is paramount in the business dealing between the two. Both sides must maintain due diligence in the protection of their reputation. This will make for a stronger relationship in the end.

HR and the job seeker;

Knowing that HR has been cut to the bare bones (sometimes there is only 1 left), we need to understand a few things.

HR does not have all day to talk to us.  We need to formulate pertinent questions that require easy short answers. We need to say please and thank you and your welcome ( that goes for the other side as well). We need not ask questions that we already know the answer to.  This will help both sides.

A simple statement like “I am very interested in your company but I have some other prospect that are coming to light would you please provide a status update for me?

Be prepared for a short conversation like;

well how far have the other offers progressed?

why is my company that interesting to you? or what can you  do for my company?

You as a seeker being well prepared puts you in a better light and shows how professional you are. It shows that you understand how busy they are and are not looking to waste anyones times yours or theirs.

So my dream for 2010 is that these groups can come together in harmony, collaboration, understanding and respect for one another.