Last week I was at a diversity networking event/job fair. I met some great candidates and invited several people to send me LinkedIn invitations (thus far I have received one). But before things got under way, I met an older gentleman who is frustrated by his career search. As he started telling me what he wants to do, what he has done, and asking me my opinions on how to get the notice of recruiters, I made a few observations and some suggestions. He has had a somewhat non-traditional career path and is passionate about an industry he has a lot of experience in, but his experience isn't progressive; it's choppy. He has authored several dozen books, and wants that to stand in for a formal PhD to get into a R & D group. I told him that most technical R & D groups require a PhD, as they are doing theoretical research, not applications. He tried to argue with me (and I told him that I was a recruiter for Microsoft Research a few years ago, and I know what they are looking for) and he finally realized I was probably right. Then I suggested to him that the way to get his name, profile and experience noticed was to start an industry blog, go to the online communities where his (much younger) competition hangs out, and then start making a name for himself by interacting with the community. Start a Twitter account and focus it on industry news and trends; write insightful pieces (they don't have to be long) about trends, and then we both knew several of the local SME's (subject matter experts) in this field to reach out to. His response?
He feels that social media is a waste of time; he doesn't have the time to start and maintain a blog; the local SME's already know him and haven't reached out to him.
So, in short, he was moaning about his lot in life but was unwilling to do anything about it. To my community of readers, this is the sort of candidate that recruiters don't want to have anything to do with. Not only does he have a bad attitude, but he is an example of why many hiring managers are not keen to hire older professionals. This gentleman asked my professional advice, and did nothing but think of reasons to ignore my suggestions. That is his perogative, but I guarantee you that he will remain where he is and I will not lift one finger to help him. I gave him my info to send me a LinkedIn invitation, and he hasn't taken advantage of it.
So I leave you with this quotation, which is fast becoming a favorite of mine:
“If you do what you have always done, you'll get what you've always gotten” - Anthony Robbins
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