Important Notice:
This site has moved to, please update your bookmarks. If you were looking for a specific post, you can use the site search option, archives, or categories at the new domain to find it. Thank you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

things that I will not be tolerating from you #1: lying about why you're calling

You know what's not a good idea? Telling the person screening my calls that I'll "know what the call is about" and refusing to elaborate further, when in fact I have no idea who you are and we've never spoken before.

You know who does this, aside from overly aggressive salespeople? Job candidates who think that this brilliant trick to get them past the gatekeeper will help them get hired.

You know what happens when they get put through to my phone line? I let the call go to voicemail, listen to their message, discover they're calling about a job, and immediately forward their message back to the original person they spoke with, with instructions to call them back and tell them we don't take unsolicited calls about jobs.

You know who immediately ruins any chance of me considering their application? People who do this, demonstrating total disregard for honesty or our clearly stated policies that we don't take unsolicited calls about jobs. I put that policy in place for a reason. I'm sorry that you don't like it -- but it's not there for you; it's there to help me. But at least now I know that I don't want to work with you.

I know there must be job search "tips" out there that encourage this ridiculous practice. I want to hunt down whoever is encouraging it and slap them.


Anonymous said...

This 'tip' is given by the same companies that charge you $5000 to review your resume, give you a list of possible hiring companies and give you some suggestions/training on improving yourself.

Anonymous said...

In the cartoon world, you would totally be able to punch the person via phone. Sometimes, that's exactly the thing we need.

Tom Weston said...

This post could only be written by someone secure in the fact that they have a job.

Asshole, try to keep in mind that those seeking a job have a sense of despair about them. They need a job to pay for things like food and shelter. Otherwise they end up on the streets begging for spare change and getting the evil eye from those that assume they are merely lazy.

You sound like a busy person, but the job seeking books recommend that you get your foot in the door any way you can. As a manager, I'd assume you'd have respect for the get shit done attitude that inspires this sort of trickery.

Few people are comfortable in the role of job hunter. I find that I have to re-invent myself, because the kind, rational, funny and thoughtful person I naturally am is ignored and stomped on in the race for employment. I have to write letters that seem more like bragging than I'm comfortable with.

Granted, I don't lie at all, but I also haven't landed all that many interviews by politely accepting rejection or not hearing from an organization hidden behind answering services, personal assistants and nameless computers filtering my resume full of hard work right into a digital trash can.

Humans still make decisions in the long run and I'm far more on the side of someone just trying to find a way to employment than a busy manager too arrogant to recognize that she/he was also once desperate for work. Getting that face to face time is precious.

So go ahead and ignore job seekers. You might just be missing out on your most valuable potential employee.

Ask a Manager said...

Pamplemousse, thanks for weighing in. I totally get why you're frustrated. But my goal is to help job seekers be successful, and lying and trying to trick a hiring manager isn't going to do that -- it's more likely to hurt them. My whole point here is to try to help people understand how hiring managers think so that they can act in their own best interests.

Tom Weston said...

Thank you for bravely posting my frustrated comment. It was a bad day in the job search world. Just seems a job seeker tends to spend a lot of effort trying to get that ever so precious face time. I, in fact, far more charming in person than when I comment on blogs.

You are right to be concerned about the advice given. I've read a few books and articles by now and much of the advice goes contrary to my idea of politeness. The general tone is that the end justifies the means, which I only ever applied for matters of survival.

I am still frustrated that so many HR departments, and now even smaller business, use software to filter through resumés. I find that limiting and somewhat lazy. If the desired end result is a good employee, a computer will most likely miss out on a candidate that doesn't use the precise lingo required.

I do apologize for my rather rude response.