The erosion of professionalism

I was recently contacted by a recruiting organization based on the East Coast about a job opportunity in the Los Angeles area.  After a brief conversation followed by a review of the basic qualifications sent to me via e-mail, I replied back with  interest including an attached copy of my current resume and answers to a few basic questions.

Several moments later, I was contacted by the same recruiter asking for a more customized version to better address some additional keywords in the job requirements. Not a problem. Within a span of ten minutes, I quickly re-reviewed the job description and added the necessary keywords to my resume. Within five minutes, the recruiter called a third time explaining to me that he could not find the requested information on my resume and that I needed to quickly add this and send it back to him pronto. Confused, I engaged in a polite dialogue requesting more clarity on what his expectations were while explaining how and where I added the keywords. During this discussion, the recruiter hung up on me.

About fifteen minutes later, the same recruiting organization called me back. This time, however, I spoke with a different recruiter who proceeded to request the same information on my resume as the previous recruiter. I politely explained that while attempting to satisfy the original recruiter’s needs, I was promptly hung up on. I then declared I was no longer interested in doing business with his organization. At this point, no apology was offered. No explanations were given. Nothing.

I thanked him for his time and hung up.

There are plenty of stories I could share. In fact, at this point in my job search, I could probably write a book about it. The bottom line is this: the lack of professionalism in today’s marketplace is more than annoying, it’s downright appalling. Unreturned phone calls, attitudes of superiority, unanswered e-mails, mismatched placements and hanging up on people are becoming more and more common in today’s job market frenzy.

Whether we like it or not, part of our success as unemployed professionals working diligently to become gainfully employed is tied to the efforts of recruiters. Those lacking strong established networks or internal connections to companies, are at the mercy of these people.

Within unemployment circles, it has affectionately become known as the black hole. Much like the cosmic variety, this dangerous apparition sucks in every possible form of communication imaginable never to be seen or heard from again. Voice mails, e-mails, everything. This particular black hole is formed with an introductory phone call advertising a particular job opportunity. Once the resume is electronically transmitted, the black hole rages into life. It is an amazing phenomenon that cannot be explained by man.

Hang in there fellow job seekers, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. And if you hear a giant sucking sound, run to the next opportunity as fast as you can.

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