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Job-Hunting Truths: What 'No' Really Means

Job-Hunting Truths: What 'No' Really Means

Jeff Schmitt | BusinessWeek

Employers Don’t Always Act Like Professionals

Employers can be sloppy during the recruiting process. They can bring you in and string you out. Sometimes, they won’t follow up after an interview—or they will miss their self-imposed deadlines. Too often, they take for granted that you sacrificed pay, even risked your current job, to meet with them.

Here’s a dirty little secret: There are different rules for screeners and managers. They can treat you in ways they wouldn’t dare resort to with peers or customers. Why? Job hunters are the lowest sect in the corporate caste system. They are outsiders, the lowest priority, disposable and quickly forgotten. And management’s defenses—lack of resources, work loads, communication gaffes—are the same excuses they would never accept from their own reports.

The truth is, you will be judged at times by lightweights. These decision-makers will be less talented, capable, accomplished, and driven than you are. They will hold you to standards that neither they nor their existing team can meet. And they will still carry themselves as if they are superior to you.

It is a hard truth: You will always face those pockets of small-mindedness, no matter where you go. There is nothing you can do about it. You can only hope to get your foot in the door, prove yourself, and move past them.

Employers Have Prejudices Too

In our personal lives, we often make assumptions about others. We take a quirk—a moment of weakness—and blow it out of proportion. We collect puzzle pieces, connect fragmented images, and formulate the “story” behind someone, however incomplete.