Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Safari - An Employment Seeker's Fable

It's a "jungle" out there when it comes to job hunting! I can't decide which side I feel more sorry for -- the job hunters or the employers. If you are one of the "hunters," you have to mail or email your resume and an enticing cover letter along with a vast number of other fellow hunters all on the same safari, pursuing the same prey -- that perfect job held by the elusive employer! 

The employer is seeking the best hunter but in the process, still has the task of protecting and growing his/her jungle territory. Busy as they are, they are now plagued with a daily inbox full of emails from eager hunters, each determined to win that prized position. Then comes the tidal wave of phone calls (if the employer has not gone completely undercover) and more emails requesting a confirmation on receipt of information, inquiring if they've made a decision or if the hunter is still being considered as a viable candidate. This onslaught includes all the legitimate, "qualified hunters" and all of the other "posers" who aren't a good match for your prize job at all. But what exactly is a "good" match and how is it qualified? It all hinges on the employer's perspective or their gatekeeper's perspective. Please get your binoculars out and we'll explore this theory a bit further...

Employers have come up with a variety of efficient strategies to sort out the hunters. The hiring manager is sometimes buffeted by a band of talented employer gatekeepers --the human resources department, office administrator, employment headhunter or a version of HAL (2001: Space Odyssey), the computer that scans and spits out the hunters who don't have the secret words embedded in their hunting license (resume). Crafty to be sure! 

This is a big frustration to this particular hunter because sometimes great employers miss the hunter that would do the best job for them! Why? Simply because the hunter has never been given an opportunity to show them their hunting skills and prowess! Consider a hunter that has expertise in the fields of marketing, management, business administration, communications or public relations. These are all fields that have a broad functioning foundation. If a hunter is experienced in one industry, then in most cases, that experience can be easily transferred to many other industries. A hunter that has multiple industry experience? All the better! This may not be true, however, for hunters in professions such as engineering, legal or financial services which require special licenses. They generally do not roam outside of their specific industry's hunting territories. But if a hunter never ventures out of their original territory, think of all the wonders, knowledge and experiences that might be missed?

The moral of the story is: If you want the best hunter to find you, don't spit out the hunters that are not current residents of your territory (industry). It's a big jungle out there and sometimes the hunter with the broadest view has the experience and know-how to catch you the greatest prize! So please consider opening the gate a little wider and expand your territory. This "hunter" wants to catch YOU and deliver the gold! 

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