An Entry from the Job Hunter's Journal


I just read another Internet article about how job seekers should get out of the box.  After reading the article I still could not figure out why the author seems to thing job seekers should “get out of the box”.  Of course the writer is just a writer, trying to tell corporate recruiters and job seekers, trying to work directly with corporate recruiters, how to dance together.  The only problem with his advice is that it is wrong for the most part. 

In this era of job hunting, companies are looking for people with skills that match the job description exactly.  Why?

  • Most companies do not have the personnel needed to train someone for six months (almost everyone in Corporate America is overworked or perceive themselves to be overworked.
  • Companies are operating on tighter and tighter profit margins, especially in the plastics industry.  They cannot afford to pay someone for several months who is not adding anything to the bottom line.
  • Overworked Human Resource Departments do not have the time to read a resume and try to figure out if the individual has the qualifications the functional manager wants.

As a third party recruiter, I try my best to define my candidate’s qualifications for the position so no one in the company has to deal with ambiguity.  Some candidates want to think of themselves as “out of the box” kind of people (an enigma wrapped in a …………….) which very often works against them when they are hunting for a new job.  I usually ask these individuals, “what do you want to do when you grow up,” in order to get them to focus on what they are really looking for in a job or a career.

The “thinking outside of the box” concept is so old that I keep hoping it will die of old age but it seems that when writers or motivational speakers cannot think of anything better to say, they reach for the old “out of the box” cliche.  Thinking outside of the box is fine when solving a problem but if you want to increase you chances of getting a job, get in the box and wrap a yellow ribbon around it.