Monday, January 13, 2014

The Other Side of the Desk: A former recruiter’s perspective #1

Welcome to Wonderland

My fellow Student Affairs job seekers let me be the first to tell you: we’ve been duped, bamboozled, nay flimflammed about job hunting.  Job hunting is tough because there are a myriad of ridiculous technological and logistical obstacles in today’s job market that prevent our resumes from reaching our prospective employer’s inbox.  Job boards, generic email addresses, bureaucratic HR policies, and online applications are the plat du jour for practically all job openings, which screams ZERO HUMAN CONTACT.  

These impersonal gatekeepers taunt us mercilessly, and the bad news is that they are here to stay like a pesky head cold in the middle of summer. And it’s tempting to think that we’re being punished for all those times we BS’d our way through class discussions like in Stats, clearly not having read a single word (ANOVA is a galaxy right?).  But wait for it, there is some good news to come if you will indulge me.

Before beginning my student affairs graduate education in 2012, I worked for three years in recruiting in the private sector for a niche staffing organization.  Staffing is all about sales; a mad dash of finding qualified candidates for jobs before your competitor beats you to it.  The concept seems simple; however, in reality it’s a lot like that final scene of “The Birds” when Tippi Hedren goes up to the attic, sees the open hole in the roof, and suddenly hundreds of birds swoop in and attack her. To be successful in Staffing, you have to swoop in first to make your mark. And swoop I did.  I helped countless numbers of people find work in the toughest recession of recent history, not because they were 100% qualified, but because I learned useful recruiting industry tips to help them stand out enough to get an interview.

Here’s the good news you’ve been waiting for: now that it’s my turn to job hunt, I’m willing to share my experience and advice with all of you through this blog each week as I prepare to leap into the arms of the warm and fuzzy world of student affairs for the first time.  I admit, I am THE WORST at taking my own advice at times, so this might blow up in my face, but hey what have I got to lose?  On the other hand, my fellow student affairs job seekers, you lose absolutely nothing.

Here’s a little info about me: I am doing my Master’s degree at an institution in the Mid-Atlantic region, and I am originally from the south (The state where they say everything is bigger).  My career interests range across many functional areas: admissions, career services, disabilities support, international student services, LGBTQ, student activities, orientation, and retention.  My dream job is to run a study abroad program for Deaf students in Spain – more on that another time.  I am conducting a search mainly in the mid-Atlantic region, but am open to other areas such as Chicago to be closer to my undergrad friends (though that whole Chiberia business makes me think twice). I think that’s sufficient to start, but I’ll share more about me over the next six months or so.

So, I leave you with two options: you take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up at your desk in front of your computer screen and continue to believe whatever fanciful ideas you have about your job hunt.  Or you take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and follow me along this ride as I attempt to job search differently using my recruiting knowledge in hopes of landing a pretty awesome job.  The choice is yours, but I’ll just say that Wonderland is bound to be much more crazy adventure. 

What do you say?

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