Secrets of the Job Hunt


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Coffee, Shock Jocks, and Recruiters

Whenever I get the chance to talk to a recruiter, interesting stories always follow. Today was no different as I sat down for coffee at a Dunkin Donuts with the founder of The McIntyre Group, a mid-size staffing firm located in Norwalk, CT.

Leslie McIntyre-Tavella is a dynamic, vibrant personality who runs one of the best companies to work for in Connecticut. (i.e. she gave one of her employees a car last year) ...We talked about a number of issues from blogging to job seeking and after almost two hours I realized I needed to get back to the office. We literally could have sat there all day and talked about this ever-changing industry.

Most recruiting firms, at least in this part of CT, have always been behind the curve when it comes to integrating technology and the web into their business. The McIntyre Group is probably the leader in this area among the recruiters of Fairfield County, Connecticut. They use the web to promote their postings and communicate with both passive and active candidates via email, newsletters and more. Their "Pay it Forward" program allows anyone to earn referral fees ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars by simply clicking a link below the job posting and filling in a form. Few of McIntyre's competitors can make the same claim.

Anyway as far as candidates go, I asked her what the biggest mistake she sees among today's job seekers. After careful thought she said ..."manners". Whether it's a lame handshake, being distracted by a cell phone or not dressing appropriately she lamented the poor manners many people lack in today's job market. College grads drew her biggest ire by wearing flip flops or writing poor resumes and thank you letters.

She actually had one recent grad who lost out on a job offer after sending a thank you email that was so grammatically incorrect it was embarrassing. Now she requires candidates to show her staff any kind of written communication before it goes to the employer.

Now that's truly sad when you have to get your thank you notes 'pre-approved'. Who's teaching our kids English?

Then she told me a story about a young woman who was interviewing for some Administrative postions. During the initial interview the candidate revealed she had "interned" at the Howard Stern show. Afterwards they googled the candidate and found a large cache of web pages with inappropriate pictures and text. Needless to say there was no way they were going to let her go on any interviews.

So if you're a job seeker reading this, you need to only remember this: if you can be polite, use common courtesy AND communicate effectively with proper english and writing skills...well, you are a step ahead of the rest.

You also might want to leave off any gigs working for shock jocks.

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