desperateWhen writing this title for the post, I realized that it was a bit harsh but so true at the same time.

I mean it, it is unfortunate but true. My article, Don’t put “Looking for a job” on your linkedin status embraced exactly the same idea. I understand all the reactions I got on linkedin but I am trying to explain why this tip is valuable…

I still think that it is not an efficient way of looking for a job especially in the long run. For recruiters you have more value if you show off your expertise and communications skills by leveraging your linkedin status. I even received emails from recruiters explaining that they are less interested in someone who has put “Looking for a job” than the people who have shared information, showed their expertise, participated in forums or conferences. It is all about reputation. And if recruiters find you interesting, they will contact you whether you have a job or not.

I still think that you should not put “looking for a job” in your linkedin profile. You may let your network know about your unemployment through face to face meetings…but it does not matter so much. What matters is what you can offer, what value you can add.

That is the reason why I think that recruiters don’t look for desperate people.

If you are unemployed but you attend conferences, you participate in groups, you share your vast knowledge with your peers, you learn new skills, you add value to your network (helping others to find some information), you network actively, that is where you stand out.

But if you are desperate ie you put all over the place that you are looking for a job, you send thousands of unfocused cvs to as many companies as you can, you network only to say that you are looking for a job, you use social networks only to communicate your unemployment…it does not work.

Desperate people are like headless chicken (like this).

The old way of looking for a job (it still works for some people): sending CVs all day long sitting in a chair waiting for things to happen, crafting cover letters, networking and asking for a job to everybody, using social networks like a CV

The new way of looking for a job: writing articles about your industry, targeting a specific company using social media, promoting your expertise, sharing info about your industry, participating in groups, networking on line and offline without asking for a job, sending a couple of very targeted CVs, interacting proactively with recruitment agencies, organizing or attending conferences…

The old solution is a short term solution whereas the new solution is a long term commitment.

Good luck and happy new year 2010!

And for 2010, Use  Google reader…it is the best way to read blogs and info about your industry!

Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/laurentbrouat

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25 comments untill now

  1. Bertrand @ 2010-01-05 15:14

    Thanks Laurent.

    Your article illustrates accurately how strong is the state of mind when looking for a job.
    Even better, already having a job is a much better situation to find a new one than being unemployed.
    Nevertheless, you never need more to find a job than the moment when you are unemployed…

    It’s really not easy to handle…

    Regards,

    Bertrand.

  2. Very true Bertrand! And the way to avoid it (to be desperate) is to start things you would not do otherwise…but I understand that job seekers may not feel fine during this period. They have the right to get depressed as well (a coming article).

  3. I personally would not publish on linkedin if I was looking for a position. However, I have two friends that did exactly that and was hired by MNCs in Senior Executive Roles as they stood out on the Linkedin updates when they changed their profiles. So, perhaps there is not one answer. R

    Recruiters and Headhunters are people with their own ideas and unless you actually do a survey, who is to say what is right and wrong or the best approach. Perhaps it is up to an individual to decide what he/she feels most comfortable with?

  4. Ange Tekam @ 2010-01-08 18:55

    Hi everyone,

    It is very true that those who are hiring are also human. They may fear to make one hiring mistake. Hiring someone who has been let go by another company is often seen as risky. Most recruiters are affraid the person who is unemployed did something wrong, were not productive, or not valued to be let go. So they hire someone who is still employed mostly because they think that if this person can still hold on to their job, they are employable.

    It’s been like that for ever. In high school, most girls/boys who had a date had many people running after them. Those who didn’t have any often wouldn’t have anyone looking forward for a date with them(nothing to do with beauty, character or achievement).

    Also, you would be surprised how many people want to give an expensive gift to the president, Bill Gates, Oprah, Donald Trump or someone rich and famous (often to join the pile of unopened gifts in the attic).

    The sad news is that, someone who is jobless would appreciate your offer, work harder/smarter for you than someone you snatched from another job. Some even regret leaving their old job right away.

    As a manager, I would prefer to have fresh workers that I can train in the department’s ways than moving someone from another department. They are more eager to learn, more respectful and adhere to policies better. Not that fresh faces would not join the bad groups, yet I can work with them on that rather than with someone set in his/her ways as often happens with those from a “secured position”. May be higher level managers don’t have the same perspective or experience dealing with employees on the daily basis and over time.

  5. Ashley Hamilton @ 2010-01-09 00:29

    Bertrand,
    I think this was a very insightful article. As one of hte previous comments says, I think it goes both ways, as does life. Some people are looking for a more straightforward person who will put it out there and some don’t want the person who is presumed to be desperate. I am in the job hunting category at the moment but previously put what I was looking for and ws offered a job opportunity. Yes it was the result of both the netwroking aspect, but the person doing the hiring would not have known I was looking had I not put it out there in plain english.

    Thanks again for the insight…it’s a differnt way to look at the status update on linkedin.

  6. What your opinion for the situation
    when You are employed already and want a job changeover.
    Should it be put on social sites like linkedIn?

  7. Hi,
    Thanks for the question!
    I think the obvious risk is that if your company comes across your profile and you put “looking for a new opportunity” it won’t look good!! Now in that case of changeover, the best way is to raise the bar, start networking with people in the sector you are interested in, start attending conferences, make you visible directly and share the conferences and so on on your status.
    I hope it will help
    Laurent

  8. Laurence Démus @ 2010-01-12 09:20

    Hi Laurent,
    I completely agree with you as more and more recruiters, professionals do try to track you down on Internet (using any social media ) prior to interviewing you. Employers are no different. It is up to us, I think, to be fairly wise about the information to appear on such websites. Unfortunately I have also seen people “pretending”, trying to give the right impression….Jobseekers can indeed be desperate….
    Laurence

  9. Hi All,

    I do concur with what Laurant has to say abt alerting your current company that they have to let go you if not sooner or later & they start watching every move of yours at work place.

    -Shabana

  10. Faisal Taimoor Khan @ 2010-01-20 11:40

    I think same trick does not work on every position or every recruiter. Once you do not have job you automatically become desperate you want to reach every corner of the world. I think mix of both desperate and passion for the work will make you ideal.

  11. Hello Laurent, thanks for this article. As an ex-recruiter I would say that desperate candidates were almost invariably not the good canddiates. However, the best candidate to work with is a very skilled AND desperate one – they can easily get offers and you know they will take it :-)

  12. Hey Laurent,

    Thanku!!

    Your article is very informative and it is so true.
    We are definitely so desperate in search of job, that we exactly try to show in every way being jobless.

  13. Ed Amend @ 2010-01-28 04:59

    I like the direct non-PC speak. A refreshing tone. I am going to try your new way of searching fro a job.
    Thanx!

  14. Valentino Martinez @ 2010-01-30 21:19

    Laurent,

    Actually, I look for people with foam on their lip. The more rabid the better. I want people who are passionate and HUNGRY for challenging opportunities. Whether they are gainfully employed or not. It tells me they’re alive and pumped. And maybe their current job, manager, product, service–frustration is keeping them on a low-burn. Or, maybe they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now looking for work. Does that make them any less viable? I don’t think so; in fact they are hyper-motivated to re-engage with a forward moving employer.

    So, Laurent–some recruiters may choose not to approach the seemingly tied-down candidate. They may turn out to be passionless, comfortable coasters. Being too hidden or nonchalant can also work against you. Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t necessarily going to stop the recruitment bus to wait for you to get on.

    Laurent, it seems you have a problem with the word desperate, or the condition. Have you ever been desperate? I can tell you it’s a reawakening moment, particularly if it endures uncomfortably long like it has during this horrendous economic downturn. In this condition EVERYTHING gets crystal clear. One’s adrenalin is tip top and on edge. I’ve been there and have actually tapped into the feeling and have used the dynamic, over the years, to achieve great things in my professional life. I have also applied the desperation impetus to excel off the business track—I’ve achieved All America status each year, going on 20 years in athletic competition with my peers. I’ve broken high school, college, and state, regional and national records–earning mostly gold medals to include international competitions.

    Laurent, you may be passing up on very high potential folks who may seem desperate to you. As for me, I’m waiting in the weeds for them and opportunities to match them to. Please don’t pooh, pooh the desperate–I know them by their frustrated potential to do better, be better and shine through the ordinary, the average–the complacent.

    Please know me as desperately seeking new avenues to succeed greatly.

  15. Hi Valentino,
    Nice comment and full of ideas. To answer your question, Yes, it happened to me to act as a desperate, and I know what was the result then…So yes you can be passionate and when you are passionate you communicate about your passion, so you don’t communicate in a desperate way, but you communicate passionately. I love the subject of job search and career and I try to communicate it passionately. Desperate can be a good thing if you turn it into passion, hunger for things. In that case, desperate is a real good thing and I agree fully with you!!

  16. Valentino Martinez @ 2010-01-31 03:25

    Laurent,

    You are a gentleman and a scholar.

    Maybe semantics can amplify a word one way or the other. I simply tend to empathize and sympathize with those in a desperate situation. Having directed a rehab program in a prison environment, years ago–I’ve observed the results of desperate moves and mistakes, as I’ve seen rebirth and re-focus in joining the mainstream.

  17. Valentino, I understand now where you come from. Have a nice WE (thanks for your compliments).

  18. Randy Pitzer @ 2010-02-01 03:21

    This is very helpful and has confirmed my suspicions. I actually just left Edelman, international communications firm, and this type of approach (thought leadership and reputation elevation) is what we recommend to clients and use ourselves to drive new business. You’ll be amazed how it establishes credibility and actually promotes your brand more than jamming things through the network.

    I learned a lot and will keep all of this in mind as I move my career along. Thanks.

  19. Valentino Martinez @ 2010-02-01 17:07

    Laurent,

    After additional thought, I’d like to restate my previous comment–if you don’t mind.

    As a recruiter, I look for people with foam on their lip–the more rabid the better. Whether they are gainfully employed or not, I want people who are passionate and HUNGRY for challenging opportunities. It tells me they’re alive and pumped.
    Maybe their current or past job, manager, product, service—fans their frustration, keeping them somewhat desperate. Or, maybe they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now looking for work. Does that make them any less viable? I don’t think so; in fact they are hyper-motivated to re-engage with a forward moving employer.

    I wouldn’t pooh pooh those who have earned gold medals unless you have a cache yourself—against local, national and global competitors. And sometimes the project is a sprint where results better be delivered before the ship sinks. Being dismissive of true talent and potential can be the result of miss reading passion for desperation.

    Laurent, some people have a problem with the word desperate, or the condition. I’ll guess most have had a desperate hour in life. I can tell you it’s a reawakening moment, particularly if it endures uncomfortably long like it has during this horrendous economic downturn. In this condition EVERYTHING gets crystal clear. One’s adrenalin is tip top and on edge and must be productively channeled.

    Channeling desperation into passion is energy ready to be applied–to compete and to succeed. I’ve been there often in business and on the athletic. I have actually tapped into the feeling of “leap or retreat” and have used the dynamic, over the years, to achieve great things in my professional and athletic life challenges. A passion to succeed is not the only thing, but it is the first thing to take down the road to success.

    So employers beware; you may be passing up on very high potential folks who may seem desperate to you. As a recruiter, I’m waiting in the weeds for the high passion people out there to match them to job opportunities that require high energy, team contributions and individual excellence seeking ever better results. Please don’t pooh, pooh the desperate–I know them by their frustrated potential to do better, be better and shine through the ordinary, the average–the complacent. You’ll know me and them as desperately seeking new avenues to succeed greatly.
    Finally, for those who want to “benefit mankind”–I also know that helping others succeed is a benefit to the whole of the human experience. Life long recruiters do this in a way. Whether I’m speaking on campuses, to professional organizations, or in one-to-one career coaching—positioning others to succeed—to get their next job, or stay in one and do better–is its own reward and has value beyond one’s comprehension. People will always look back on their achievements to all those who had a hand in motivating and assisting them along the road. And their success breeds success when they, in turn, begin to help others as well. The six degrees of separation in this cycle is a wonderful thing when one puts passion to succeed in motion.

  20. Paul Mckenzie @ 2010-05-04 16:45

    I live in Devon and have been trying to find work in the IT sector for 5yrs, i work freelance and do very well in the private market but getting a job today is a joke. I decided in 2000 that i was sick of being a slave for the banks and ditch the mortgage in favor of a luxury motor home and when I say luxury i mean top of the range with all the bells, I thought this would enable me to look at lower paying positions due to the fact my out goings are almost zero, apart from maintaining my home and feeding myself. Now I cant get a job because I do not have an address, I would of thought it would not have mattered these days but it seems we are still stuck in the “olden days” when it comes to employers.
    I have also found that because I am 42yrs old and have a small armed forces tattoo upon my hand no agency will sign me, I am told I am too old and the tattoo will put off employers, I thought it was my brain that was the important thing here but i am told employers want the “right type” for IT so that,s me out then.

    I used to have a warm positive outlook in life which has overtime turned to almost a hatred for my fellow man as it always seems to be some one I dont know who is saying no to me all the time and thus in turn spoiling my chance to live a full and meaningful life… just because I dont look right.

    I have given up looking for work now and survive anyway I can, it has made me into a person who will now do nothing for anyone unless they pay me, I do not feel a duty to help anyone anymore and I worry only about me. It seems to me this is the society that people want, a place where employers shirk any commitment towards the people who work for them and are happy to pay an agency twice the hourly wage just so as to be rid of the duty to its workforce, working for an agency is a miserable way to work knowing some git in an office is milking you for more an hour than you are being paid per hour, is that what we want for our children, thank goodness I am single.

    I have served for this country 15yrs to the day but since leaving the service I have grown to hate Britain and all it stands for, I gave for my country yet not one of you will employ me now, if only I had known that back then I would have never served for this country and its two faced peoples, sure you love us soldiers when we are fighting your wars but when we leave the service we seem to be unemployable, anyone know why…

    I wont be bothering with voting this time round, makes no difference to me which gang of villains runs this land, nothing is going to change for me anytime soon until people change their outdated attitudes towards employing people. When I left school you applied for a job, had an interview, if all went well you started work… no body cared where you was from or where ya lived, just can you do the job… now you have to have a c.v. a facebook page, a twitter page and of course look beautiful, i have none of these things and will never have any of these things, why, because I still believe in the interview, if you want to know about me have the courage to actually speak to me, if you cant do that then I do not want to work for you. I want to work for an employer who cares about their workforce, is respectful to me and treats me as a colleague and not just a slave but I guess I will be waiting for ever as there are no employers left that fit into that bracket thanks to every job being farmed out to robber agencies.

    What is a boy to do ??????

  21. Paul Mckenzie @ 2010-05-04 20:07

    Ps I am proud to say I am desperate to be all I can be and share the talant’s and knowledge I have from a lifetime of experience that in no way makes me weak, pathetic or a high risk. As for likely to steal through desperation i have to say the writer of that is talking out of their bigoted ass while wearing huge blinkers, most of us are desperate to work, to do better in life or just to get on and live, why would someone desperate to work and do well in life be instantly branded likely to steal, I am desperate to find well paying meaningful work not to steal anything from anyone, I may be desperate but I have self respect and pride, also if I wanted to steal things I would be a thief for a profession not trying to obtain honest paying work…

    Hope that sheds some light on what desperate to work actually means, it doesn’t make a decent person desperate to steal just desperate to find work…ok

  22. Paul Mckenzie @ 2010-05-04 20:09

    Valentino Martinez can i have a job, I am exactly what you are writing about…

  23. [...] Recruiters don’t look for desperate people (22 comments) [...]

  24. [...] what your job (or previous job, if you are unemployed) requires of you. In another A Job You Love article Laurent Brouat suggested writing industry-related articles as a way to improve your web presence [...]

  25. Valentino Martinez @ 2011-02-18 18:24

    Laurent, I LOOK FOR DESPERATE PEOPLE…

    Actually, I look for people with foam on their lip. The more rabid the better. I want people who are passionate and HUNGRY for challenging opportunities. Whether they are gainfully employed or not. It tells me they’re alive and pumped. And maybe their current job, manager, product, service–frustration is keeping them on a low-burn. Or, maybe they ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now looking for work. Does that make them any less viable? I don’t think so; in fact they are hyper-motivated to re-engage with a forward moving employer.

    So, Laurent–some recruiters may choose not to approach the seemingly tied-down candidate. They may turn out to be passionless, comfortable coasters. Being too hidden or nonchalant can also work against you. Recruiters and hiring managers aren’t necessarily going to stop the recruitment bus to wait for you to get on.

    Laurent, it seems you have a problem with the word desperate, or the condition. Have you ever been desperate? I can tell you it’s a reawakening moment, particularly if it endures uncomfortably long like it has during this horrendous economic downturn. In this condition EVERYTHING gets crystal clear. One’s adrenalin is tip top and on edge. I’ve been there and have actually tapped into the feeling and have used the dynamic, over the years, to achieve great things in my professional life. I have also applied the desperation impetus to excel off the business track—I’ve achieved All America status each year, going on 20 years in athletic competition with my peers. I’ve broken high school, college, and state, regional and national records–earning mostly gold medals to include international competitions.

    Laurent, you may be passing up on very high potential folks who may seem desperate to you. As for me, I’m waiting in the weeds for them and opportunities to match them to. Please don’t pooh, pooh the desperate–I know them by their frustrated potential to do better, be better and shine through the ordinary, the average–the complacent.

    Please know me as desperately seeking new avenues to succeed greatly.

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