A cautionary tale: The overly aggressive candidate

An unexpected job loss is a scary and unsettling event for nearly everyone who has experienced it.  Panic and fear are often emotions shared by many in this situation.  However, it is critical that a candidate learn how to channel these feelings correctly, so that they can work for them in a positive manner during their search and not against them.

It is true that people like giving jobs to people who want them.  But sometimes candidates take this mantra too far.  While companies are often looking for people who are driven, eager, and proactive, they don’t want desperation.  Too often I’ve seen candidates become overzealous in their pursuit of opportunities where it ends up having an unintended negative effect instead, and they are passed over.

The best advice I can give to job seekers in this situation is to develop a proper sense of urgency.  This means to always be networking with others and pursuing multiple opportunities simultaneously.  It is very important to never get caught up with any one particular company or position, no matter how perfect it may seem.  It may not work out for a variety of reasons, so it is wise to have a pipeline of other possibilities to continue pursuing.


Ultimately, it is important to treat people the way you’d want to be treated.  It is unfortunate that some companies don’t always reciprocate this behavior, often leaving candidates waiting for feedback, sometimes indefinitely.  For further thoughts on this dilemma, check out this previous blog (what happened to the human part of HR).  You should politely follow-up for a bit, but if you’re not hearing back, then you simply need to shift your energies elsewhere.

Finding the right employment is a combination of relationships, opportunity, and timing.  The only true controllable among the three is your relationships, so it is always important to prioritize them throughout your life.  If you manage those well, then the opportunities and timing will take care of themselves.

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