The WORST Way to Pursue a Job You See Posted on LinkedIn — Shake My Head

Just before the holidays, I penned the following post on LinkedIn expressing my need for a Director of Operations for one of my clients:

“NEW JOB: DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS for a digital publisher in NY. You’ll have your hands in virtually EVERYTHING. Need an organizer and a multi-tasker. You will be THE in-house GO-TO for all things and will be working closely on everything from meeting/event planning to on-boarding new employees, to creating PowerPoints. Basically, if you love to work on a diversity of projects, you can foresee and solve problems and can keep a well-oiled machine running, then this is for you.”

LinkedIn has become THE place to post “want ads” like this. It’s fast, it’s easy and it can be very effective. Job seekers, especially if they have a vast number of connections on LinkedIn, have access to tons of opportunities through their first connections and beyond, so it’s a win-win. But, just because it’s easier to promote new jobs widely, and to find them, doesn’t mean etiquette can fly out the window.

If you are a job seeker (candidate), and you see a job posting on LinkedIn, writing in the comment section something to the tune of “I’m interested” is not enough. You need to send a private message or email to the job poster with a thoughtful note including your resume and a request for a meeting/call. You’ve got to do a LITTLE bit of work here.

If you choose to bypass responding on LinkedIn and send a direct email to the job poster (Recruiter and/or Hiring Manager), the note must be well written, professional and can’t look like a text written while riding a bus. Below is an example of a note that I received that made me shake my head in disbelief. Take a look…

“Hi Jane – saw your post

Just got bought by xxx. Whos your client? Maybe would hear about it.

Thx”

This applicant didn’t bother to send me his resume OR a link to his online profile. I was expected to do all the “giving.” I almost deleted the email with a shake of the head but, for shits and giggles, I decided to look at his profile. I was quite shocked to see that he had decent experience for the role and a degree from an Ivy League school. How could someone, seemingly so smart, go about his job search in such a sloppy and lazy fashion? It bothered me. Instead of deleting his email, I decided to write him back with some unsolicited advice. And it went like this…

“First, thank you for your note. However, I must tell you that it has left me perplexed. When people reach out to me regarding a job they are interested in pursuing, they send me a professional inquiry, including their resume, vs. a cavalier note stating “maybe would hear about it.”

I do not know you and have no idea if you are going to take this advice kindly, but I would like to help. I strongly suggest, if you are interested in a job, that you write a well-written email to the person hiring (recruiter and/or hiring manager). The note can not be filled with typos and everyday jargon. And, to be frank, not with a not “what you can do for me” approach (“Maybe would hear about it”). Instead, it should be about what YOU – the candidate – can potentially bring to the role. Next time, please send a resume and request a call or a meeting to explore the role and your potential fit. 

This job is highly operational, as the description on LI states. I need someone buttoned up who takes the time to make sure all projects are running on time in the office. I need someone who can work with very senior stakeholders to ensure they are doing what needs to be done. This one little note you sent me shows me that you do not have that skill set, regardless of your fantastic educational pedigree, which tells me you are book smart. This one little note says to me: “if this guy can’t take the time to write a thoughtful email in his quest for a job, how is he going to be thoughtful in the office?”

Good luck with your search. I hope you will take my words to heart and approach your search with more nuance, professionalism and humility moving forward.” 

What do you think?

Jane Ashen Turkewitz is the President and Chief Talent Officer at .comRecruiting — a firm that specializes in advancing business and careers in digital media and emerging technology. If she could make a living writing posts like this, she would.

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