Teaching Tough Lessons Well

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Whether or not you are seeking employment, I recommend stopping by Nick Corcodilos' the Ask the Headhunter website and blog: They are replete with fascinating examples of the application of independent, creative thinking to a common problem that our current culture and politics make unnecessarily complicated. A bonus is that there are lessons to be learned from his advice on headhunting and job seeking that are more broadly applicable.

As an example of the master at work, consider the Headhunter's answer to the following question from a reader:

I've applied for a job (online, to a headhunter) for which I easily meet all the criteria. I even have several "value add" items in my past that make me an extra good candidate. But I have not been invited for even a preliminary interview. Should I just give up, or is it acceptable/advisable to contact the headhunter and essentially say, "I can't believe you've overlooked me!"
Corcodilos advises the client to move on, based on little information as to the particulars of the case. This he is able to do by bringing to bear his knowledge and expertise (in the form of rules of thumb for judging headhunters) to ascertain what is likely going on. He also shows respect for the questioner in the manner of his answer. Corcodilos identifies what he sees as the essential problem, lays out why he sees it that way, and then presents actionable advice. I especially appreciate the fact that he subtly help his questioner gain confidence in the midst of what many find to be a frustrating, powerless-feeling situation:
Applying indirectly puts you so far down on the list of realistic candidates that you're really wasting your time. But I'm not here to berate you. This is a good learning experience if you understand why you're wasting your time with this headhunter -- who seems to have overlooked you because he's working blind. [bold added]
I was originally interested in posting on this Q and A because I was impressed with how well Corcodilos could make a call with what many would see as having little information. However, upon further thought, I am actually more impressed with how well he communicated what he knows (that the questioner did not), leaving the questioner and anyone who stopped by wiser and stronger.

-- CAV

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