Ask Me Anything About Job Search

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

This video answers these questions:
As a recruiter, what are the most important things you look for in a resume and/or LinkedIn profile?
If an Executive Search firm emails you requesting that you recommend someone for a position, does that mean they are interested in hiring you for the position?
Should I send a thank you note once I got the job?
What should I do when I haven’t found a job 8 months after graduation?
What is the best way to find a new job using LinkedIn?

Is It OK To Apply Directly If I Never Heard Back From The Recruiter?

I’m Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter.  I’m the head coach for and and welcome to Job Search Radio. Yes, I know it’s a video, but we still call it Job Search Radio.  It has more than 450 episodes in iTunes, mostly in audio format.  But a few weeks ago, I switched over to video. 

I want to do another episode where I am answering multiple questions, an AMA type of show, where I’m dealing with concerns that job hunters have and answering several questions and not just simply one. 

Before I get into it, I want to say that if you would like to connect with me on LinkedIn, my address is  Tell me that you watch or listen to the show. I love hearing from folks who have done that; it helps me know that I am helping folks and reaching people and I have been useful. 

Also, I want to mention that if you’re interested my coaching you, you can also email me at and put the word “coaching” in the subject line and I’ll get back to will schedule time to speak. 

If you visit, what you will find is information about my work as well as a blog that is loaded with great information.  Again, that is,

I’ve Changed My Mind About Elevator Pitches

So the 1st question which is a very good one and it really goes back to my time doing recruiting.  “So, as a recruiter (which I don’t do any longer..  I know coach) but as a recruiter, what are the most important things you look for in a resume and/or LinkedIn profile?” 

Good question and it’s really very simple.  Recruiters look for people who fit a role.  What they want to do is, not just simply chat with people gratuitously.  They want to find people who actually are relevant for their client.

The way you demonstrate relevance is having a background that actually fits a role that they are recruiting for.  They’re not there to chit chat.  They are not there to be your friend.  What they are there to do is, very simply, fill positions and then ultimately get paid.  Just like you want to get a job so that you get paid at the right compensation level, so do recruiters.

I I know that’s a big shock to you but recruiters want to get paid too.  And those that operate on a contingency basis, they certainly want to get paid because all, they are doing is making next to nothing and I say “next to nothing” because they are all commission based.  They may have a draw against projected commissions but they’re not earning their real money until the job is filled and the client has paid them and you have been on board for a particular period of time.

Obviously, retained search firms work a little bit differently. There,  the money is being trips out from the client to the search firm and thus to the individual recruiter, but contingency recruiters all work, not on salary they work on commission.  Pure commission and thus they want to get paid. 

And thus they want to get paid and they want to see backgrounds in your resume and LinkedIn profile that make the fit obvious.  The extra thing I will add for LinkedIn is so much easier if in the summary, you put your email address there that they can reach you at so that in this way that way, .  They have a way of reaching out to you and if you’re out of work also put your phone number.  Okay so that’s question number 1.

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Question number 2. “If an executive search firm emails you requested that you recommend someone for a position does that mean that they are interested in hiring you for the position?”

You probably just so you shake my head there.  Normally someone who asks this question is not being contacted by an executive search firm.  They have been contacted by a contingency recruiting firm that says they do executive search. 

Respectfully, you are probably talking to a contingency recruiting firm.  They are emailing you asking for referrals, rather than calling you.  They are doing bulk communications.

So that if a recruiting firm emails you asking to recommend someone, it may mean that they are interested in talking to about the position and (since they can’t hire you for it; only the client can) or they have seen your background, they don’t think it’s a fit, but they think you might know someone.

So “maybe” is the best way I can answer that.  Maybe they would be interested in you for the job.  Maybe not and maybe what they’re saying is accurate period I know often when I used to send that inMails to people on LinkedIn, I meant what I said.

I wanted to know if they knew someone who might fit the role because the background was similar, but a little bit different.  So that was me.  I can’t speak for every recruiter in the world today to know whether they are going to be literate and ask you for the recommendation or this is some inference where you might go “Hey!  What about me?”

Targeting Your Job Search

Okay, so, question number 3. “Should I send a thank you note once I got the job?”

Okay, , “to whom would you be sending the thank you note,” is the question.  To the hiring manager?  No.  To HR?  If they did something extraordinary.  But definitely to your references.  Definitely to the recruiters, who along the way, were helpful to you, even though they might not been the one who introduced you to the job and, particularly to the one who did introduced to the job.  I know on the occasions where I got a thank you note or a gift in particular was extraordinary when I did recruiting.  Maybe I received 5 in the 40 years I did search.  Okay, about 10 in 40 years I did search.  It was a momentous thing.  Once every 4 years someone acknowledged me in that way.  You will get recognition for having done that; whether that amounts to anything later on we can’t guarantee it.  But what you do know is that there’s an impact on the recipient,

Certainly for the references, you don’t have to send a gift.  Although if you have known them for a long time, it’s a very nice touch if they receive a book that you know that they would be interested in.

But thanking your references?  You are going to need your references in the future, and you want to make sure that they think highly of you.  So on a limited basis, a thank you note is a good touch, but not to the hiring manager.

Finding Remote Work Jobs

Number 4.  “What should I do when I haven’t found a job 8 months after graduation?”

So, the 1st I would say is you’re doing something wrong.  Understand that you’re doing something wrong and start looking at correcting it.  Here’s the formula that I tell people.

You’re not going to get many calls or contacts out of LinkedIn because a recent grad is a dime a dozen but I am going to present this in a way that’s general so that experienced workers will get something from my answering this question, too. 

So if you’re not getting responses to your resume, you are either sending it for jobs that you are not qualified for or it doesn’t demonstrate the fit. which means it is a bad resume. 

If you are not getting contacted by people on LinkedIn (again, this doesn’t apply to a recent grad) if you not getting contacted by recruiters through LinkedIn your profile is missing keyword and, thus, it is not coming up in searches.  If you’re getting 1st interviews but not invited back, you don’t interview well.  If you get invited back but you’re not getting invited to meet the hiring manager you probably have to work on your area of expertise since that tends to be what happens on the 2nd interview.  They go more depth about what you knowledge.

If you are getting to the hiring manager, the overall boss and not getting any further, you having a problem with relationship skills (which probably isn’t happening with you but for more experienced person, you’re probably getting intimidated in your meetings with them and not presenting yourself as an equal with them.  The one thing that I know that senior professionals care about is they want to make sure that they can trust you and the easiest way to do that is to talk to them is as a peer. 

Now, back into our are grad who’s been out of work for 8 months, you may a skills deficiency, you may be sending a resume out to the wrong firms.  I would say that the best thing that you can do is contact other graduates from the school that you attended who were in the same degree program as you and ask them how they got their job and see if there’s anything at their firm.

I would go back to the University to the career services office and ask for input from them.  I wouldn’t hire a coach.  You probably can’t afford a coach and the coaches may not be relevant for you. But you can go back and network with people that you went to school with, go are graduates who are further along who might be a year or 2 ahead of you and talk to them about how they found work.

Talk to career services.  Ask the more experienced grads how they landed and work at that.  Your network has to be able to help you and it is not just simply about mass emailing a resume to the universe.  Ask questions. 

6 Tips for Successful Job Search Networking

Here’s another LinkedIn question.  “What’s the best way to find a job using LinkedIn?”  There and is no simple answer.  I think in terms of someone building a network.  I think in terms of someone who’s promoting themselves effectively, which for an experienced person, the idea is building a network, developing a relationship with people, who over the course of time, you have a mutually beneficial relationship with, and from there, the best way, the easiest way is ads on LinkedIn, respond to get a job.

But the probability of that is small. LinkedIn, in that way, is like a job board and as a job board, there are limitations as to its effectiveness.  If the role, job boards fill 6% of all jobs.  So, it’s telling you that it’s not going to be real helpful. 

So, LinkedIn is going to help you build a network that, over time, is going to be beneficial.  It’s not an instantaneous thing.  After all, I will use an example I heard years ago. 

This was a sales trainer who was talking to the top producers who were off on a junket in Hawaii and these were the top .1 of 1% with the largest investment firms in the world.  These were heavy hitters. What he did was point out that they may all have good doctors, but we don’t always think of referring your doctor.  What we do is, when asked for referrals, sometimes they come to mind and sometimes they don’t.  But we always have to be asking.

His thing was in every call, in less than 6 seconds, you can ask for the referral by saying, “Is there anyone else you know who I might be of help?”  For you as a job hunter, you can be reaching out to folks and develop relationships with them that, over time, is going to be beneficial to you.  Is it going to be helpful on this search?  It may and may not be.

You get involved with groups and him and develop relationships there.  You can meet people online, accepting some of the recommendations that LinkedIn provides.  There are a lot of different ways that LinkedIn can be very helpful to you. 

The Body Language Guide for Job Hunters

Let me just simply said go exploring. Depending on your seniority, groups can be remarkably helpful specifically in your area of expertise and particularly in certain business areas where your relationships with career proximates to you.

For example, you are a COO and the talking to a CIO of an organization.  Are they directly in your area of expertise?  No, but they are in organizations where they interact with others COO’s and have relationships with COO from previous organizations, too.

So if it’s for the weak ties that you have that give you the opportunity to build a relationship that could be beneficial.  So, go exploring.  Write. Write for LinkedIn.  They have got a blogging platform that allows you to promote yourself and that can be beneficial.

What’s the best way?  You know, it depends on where you are in your career because it’s unlikely that the very junior individual with 6 months of experience has a lot to say in written form, right?

But for you veteran individuals, writing, networking, answering questions, doing video (the LinkedIn app.  Now has a video capability that you can use to promote yourself with) . . .  a lot of different ways that you can market yourself and develop a relationship with others. Go explore it and try.  If it doesn’t work, hey!  What the cost you? 

So, that’s today’s show.  I hope you found this helpful.  If you did and you’re getting this on YouTube, I hope you give the show a thumbs up.  If you’re watching this is as, job Search Radio and getting it through iTunes, please give the show 5 stars and a great write-up. 

It helps other people discover the show and, as I mentioned before,, if we are not connected on LinkedIn, send a connection request to me

I hope you have a great day and let me coach you.  Take care!

I’ve Changed My Mind About Elevator Pitches


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. He is hired to provide No BS Career Advice

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

globally. That can involve job search, hiring staff, management, leadership, career transition and advice about resolving workplace issues. Schedule a discovery call at my website,

He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with over 2500 episodes.

Website: (schedule a paid coaching session, a free discovery call or ask questions using my Trusted Adviser Services)



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