Flattery: The Ultimate Recruiting Tool

Today I received a call.   Not just any call, mind you.   This is the one I ™d been waiting for.   OK, I ™m giving it more credit than it deserves.   It was out-of-the-blue, totally unexpected, yet one that I was happy to get.

job seeker

It was a call about a job opportunity.   We ™ve reviewed your resume and would like to talk to you about our firm, if you're still in the market for a new job .

Questions raced through my mind. I don't think I applied for this position, so how did she find me?

Yes, I tell her, I ™m still exploring opportunities .   That's job-seeker code for Thank goodness you called!    She tells me it's hard to believe someone of my caliber is available, that my qualifications are stellar and that, on paper at least, I ™m just what they're looking for.

Are you available to discuss?    Am I available? LOL!   My calendar isn't exactly bursting with appointments right now, unless you count my laundry folding meeting in the living room at 11:00, followed closely by a vacuuming seminar this afternoon.   Not to mention the off-site at the grocery store, although I might be able to reschedule it.

She sends me information about the opportunity.   I pore over her e-mail, look at the company's website, taking notes.   During our follow-up call we discuss my background, details of the position and other general stuff.

We ™d like to bring you in for an interview with the hiring manager in a few days; we're on the fast-track to fill this position.      And we're off!   Amazing how quickly these things can happen. I ™m a bit star-struck and over the moon.   She thinks I ™m perfect for the position.   Her flattery is definitely nice to hear, especially having been in lay-off land for a while.

Fast-forward a few days.   Now that I know more about the position and have had time to digest the information, I have a nagging feeling.   And not in a good way.

I push the feelings to the back of my mind, telling myself it's OK to talk to them.   No harm in that, right? Just talk.

The more I think about the opportunity, the less interested I become.   I find myself trying to see the positives, like it's a good company  and it would be a good resume builder , and my personal favorite, at least it's a job .   Hardly how I wanted to land my next gig.

Hubby comes home to find me sitting at my desk, pitch dark except for the glow of my computer screen.   Immediately sensing that something is wrong, he tries to humor me and pull me out of my funk by turning on the lights.   Poor decision on his part.   I immediately snap at him and he wonders why, especially with the good news of a potential job.

What's wrong?  he implores.   I thought they loved you. 

And therein lays the problem.   They do love me, my experience, my knowledge, etc.   On paper the job looks good in terms of commute and that it's in my industry.   But that's where it stops.   I ™m not interested in the type of work they offer.   It's sort of in my field, but at any other time I would not even consider this job.

Is it wrong to want to work at something you love?   I don't think so.   I learned a long time ago that while I can put on the occasional academy-award-winning performance when necessary, I ™m not good when it comes to working at something I don't love.   Some people can do just about anything in terms of work if the money and benefits are right.   Not me.   I have to be passionate about my work “ to really feel it – loving what I do.

This reminds me of dating, although it's been awhile since I had to go through that sort of interviewing. Kind of like the cute guy you ™ve been secretly eyeing, hoping he would call for a date.   When he finally calls, it's all hearts and flowers and puppy dogs and everything else wonderful you can imagine. Until you actually have a one-on-one date and realize that while he may be easy on the eyes, he can't hold a conversation unless it's about his model pony collection.

I must admit the recruiter had me at we love your experience .   It's unbelievably flattering to have someone want me for a job, even if it's not the best fit.   And it's hard to separate the flattery from the realization that, while it may be a good job opportunity, it's just not the right one.

My decision?   Difficult as it was, I took the bold step to thank them profusely for considering me and politely declined.

If loving my career is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

© Tami Cannizzaro 2012 All Rights Reserved


  1. Tami, I have gone through this exact same thing. It’s hard to “work” somewhere you have no interest in – and yet, even harder to land your dream job. I feel your pain. Good for you, for following your heart!

  2. Yeah, that must have been hard. But maybe they also realized it may have been a step to the side (not necessarily down) and it would have been more of a win for them than you. Brave girl. Kudos to you. Hope the Right One in your career relationship comes along soon.

  3. I completely understand your thought process. Companies also sell jobs too so I always keep in mind (especially if they are trying to recruit me) that they are trying to sell me on the job. I completely understand your philosophy, I’ve had to turn jobs in that way as well. However, if I know someone with the skill set, I always recommend other candidates too that might be interested in it.

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