I Hate Recruiters! Why Do They Pigeonhole Me?

The short answer? Because they don’t know you.

Last week, I spoke to a group of MBA students at a local University about how to use social media in their job search. At one point in the workshop, a young gentleman raised his hand requesting permission to ask a question that was “off-topic”. Since I’m always up for a good off-topic question, permission was quickly granted, and he continued.

The student shared that he wasn’t very fond of recruiters in general (present company excepted of course), because they only view him based upon his past experience, not for what he wants to be – or can be. Since he currently held a sales position in a hot industry, recruiters were very interested in talking with him about similar roles, but not about the career move he wants to make – a leadership role in another industry.

“How do you get a recruiter to pay attention to you when you contact them because you want to make a career change, or change industries?”

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LinkedIn and Web 2.0 Still Need Networking 1.0

Online_business_networking_3It’s LinkedIn week here in my world, and I’ll be speaking to three different groups this week about using LinkedIn. The first presentation will be to a group of job seekers who are participating in a 10-week Job Search series sponsored by a community group, the second at a local Chamber of Commerce to business owners and professionals, and the third to a group of senior executives in career transition working with an outplacement firm.

As a LinkedIn fan and avid user since early 2006, it’s not hard for me to talk with all types of individuals about the benefits of using LinkedIn and share some tips and strategies to maximize its potential for job search, personal branding, employment branding or business development. (By becoming a regular reader, RSS or email subscriber to this blog, I’ll share that information with you as well!)

However, I’m always careful to point out that using LinkedIn – or any social networking or online tool – does not replace the need to get out and meet people, build real relationships and help others. I like the way Jason Alba, author of I’m on LinkedIn – – Now What??? lays it out in chapter 2 of his very informative book:

While LinkedIn is a networking tool, it is not a networking silver bullet. Timeless networking principals such as “givers gain”, etiquette, long-term relationship nurturing, and investing time and effort in others are critical. LinkedIn is not a replacement for your networking efforts (online or offline); rather, it is an excellent tool to facilitate some facets of your networking strategy.

That’s right – using LinkedIn is only ONE part of any job search, business development or networking strategy – so don’t forget that! It’s definitely important in today’s world to understand how to effectively utilize LinkedIn and other social networking tools, but some of the old-fashioned 1.0 tools – the telephone, a drop in visit, face-to-face meetings, handwritten Thank You notes, are still the best ways to make a meaningful impression and to build rich relationships.

Beginning My Journey

Wctboardwalkfootprints_5 “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu

No matter what you do, you have to start somewhere. So I’m finally starting something new – my own Blog! I’ve been talking about doing it for months, and after getting bogged down while pondering domain names, blog titles/sub-titles, “about me” pages, etc. for too long now, it’s time to just jump in and get started! So here goes…

Through this process, I’m looking forward to learning more about myself and about the areas I’m interested in – and as a person who’s passion is “connecting”, I want to add another tool to my tool box for connecting with current relationships, new relationships and many of the people I admire and respect. On this blog, you can expect to find posts on topics I’m currently interested in or involved with professionally such as Recruiting, Coaching, Connecting, Talent Management, Human Resources, Leadership and Social Media/Social Networking (to name a few). I’ll be writing and sharing information targeted at the types of people that are my clients – businesses and business leaders who are looking to attract, recruit, retain and develop talent.

I hope you’ll learn from and enjoy the content, and that you’ll participate in this “conversation” with me by subscribing via RSS feed or email (see the boxes in the upper right corner of this page), and also by adding your comments to posts from time to time to let me know what you’re thinking, share questions, provide feedback and let me know that you’re out there!

One step taken. Many more ahead!