Apr 132011

My dream reply to an invitation to assist a chef in finding employment:

Dear Chef:

You write: “I am interviewing professionals to assist me in securing a position as a Chef or Manager in the restaurant industry.” Bing, wrong answer.


1)      You do not interview us. We interview you. The choice is not yours, it is ours.

2)      Unless we feel that you possess universally attractive qualities for our clients, we will put off interviewing you until we have a job available. Life is triage.

3)      We do not assist you in finding a job. We assist our clients in finding chefs. There’s more than a small difference between the two approaches. Let’s put it this way, we are not your advocate, unless we are absolutely convinced that you are in every way we value a righteous professional.

Why? Well, for one thing, you don’t pay us. Our clients do. We are a free service to you, and possibly a valuable one, as it is in our interest to hook you up with something that works, preferably for a long time, so we won’t send you to something for a quick fee. That’s the standpoint of most search firms, although there still a few rogues among us.

We would call you immediately, if you were a prime candidate, but you are not.

Why? : 1) you are currently not employed and have been for over half a year. We do represent people between jobs if we know them or if their background impresses us, but an unknown, unemployed candidate can be a bombshell. Being unemployed can indicate many possible problems, and at times we do not have the time or the desire to discover them.  2) We don’t know you and have never heard of you, and we have heard of many good culinarians.  3) you have had five jobs in the past four years, so we cannot really with a straight face suggest to our clients that they pay us on your good word that you are looking for something permanent. 5) You are arrogant. Really, you are. Life’s too short. 6) You think you are more important that we do. Don’t get us wrong. We want our candidates to have a strong sense of their value, but we don’t like the feeling that they are trying to manipulate us based on that sense. Trust us, your note says exactly that. So do all the applications telling to call ASAP or to look them up on Google and download their resumes. We have a small button which rates them. The title of the field is “No”. (we also have a “Yes” field). So we will just store this information in case we run across you again, so we will know not to reach out.

Finally, I do not have time to educate you. Your school should have explained the job search process to you and told you something about professional job search behavior. Maybe they did, but our job is not to provide refresher courses in the field.

The good – no –  great news, is that there are plenty of fish in the sea and someone will find you more attractive than we do. So, best of luck in your search. It might help, however, to brush up on recruiters, so have a look at what our business site writes.

  2 Responses to “How to lose a recruiter:”

Comments (2)
  1. Thanks, Carl. I have a piece on recruiters on the other site, which I intend to tighten up and transfer here at some point.

  2. Jo-Lynne, Thanks for continuing to share all this great advice. I usually share parts of it with my students when we start talking about careers, but right now I’m finding it very useful myself.