Prepare So Opportunities Can Find You

By Jeff Altman

Before I began my career in recruiting, I was someone who sent resume after resume to ads in the newspaper and waited for the phone to ring. Sometimes, the ad included a phone number and I would call, writing my initial words out on a piece of paper to read as a way of overcoming my phone fear.

As time passed, applying to jobs changed with the technology of the times. We went from mailing resumes on parchment paper that matched the envelope it was mailed in, to faxing resumes to companies and having no concern about papers and envelopes, to emailing resumes.

Recruiters evolved with the times, too.

Finding candidates used to consist of waiting for a resume to arrive in response to an ad (any ad that included the words, “10% travel” would outdraw any other ad by 20:1), to sourcing people by rusing (“Hi! I’m calling from the Personnel Department to update the directory. Who accepts calls on extension 3741?), to buying directories from purveyors of directories that often contained outdated information, to online advertising.

From a data management standpoint, we have evolved from file cabinets of resumes and “dead files” (files containing resumes of people no longer looking for work) that could only be reviewed alphabetically, to using 3×5 index cards to summarize a candidate and review our experiences with them, to standalone computers that barely connected with our clients, to networks to web-based solutions.

Resumes are now used as the tool of the active job hunter. People apply to jobs and submit their resume to a hiring manager, a person they network with who can get it to the hiring manager or (GASP) submit them to the applicant tracking system.

Recruiters now share a data base. Every last one of us has access to it.


Whether you are not particularly interested in changing jobs and want to stay in contact with former colleagues, whether you might be open to “the right job” if it were proposed to you or actively looking for work, LinkedIn is the medium of choice to be found by corporate and third-party recruiters. It has moved into this position because it has become an enormous and easy to search a repository of information about people and their work.

I’m sure many of you have whined about getting too many inMails and messages from recruiters proposing job opportunities to you and are saying to yourself, “He’s written so many good articles. There’s nothing new here.”

Hang in a little longer. I’ll make it worthwhile.

The thing you have to understand is that there is a myth in the hiring and recruiting industry that active job applicants (people aggressively looking for work) are inferior recruiterto passive ones (people who are not aggressively looking for work and happy where they are). As someone who helped create the myth, there is a critical flaw in the logic I won’t go into, LinkedIn allows you to appear as a passive job hunter and let recruiters reach out to you with opportunities.

And, again, be patient.

The person who gets ahead isn’t always the smartest or work the hardest although those are great qualities to have.

People get ahead by being alert to opportunities, both professional and financial. Sometimes those opportunities are internal to their current organization. Most of the time, they are external.

Thus, what LinkedIn does for you is allow you to be located by recruiters about opportunities.

All you have to do (Here it comes) is update your resume regularly and include:

a) Accurate descriptions using keywords reflecting your experience

b) Put your phone number and email address into the summary of your profile if you are actively looking for work and just your email address if you are not actively looking for something.

That’s it.

Do the update every 3-4 months.

If nothing has changed after a few cycles of this, maybe you should change your job before you get stale doing the same thing for years.

Every recession should demonstrate to you, if things get tough, your employer will probably get rid of you and a lot of others.

Working your way up the ladder to the C suite occurs so rarely there should be an answer of “False” on about it.

Manage your career like a business manages its operations when things get tough, looking out for its interests.

Do the same thing and be proactive.

After all, the next recession is on its way. I don’t know when it will occur but another one will occur.

Doing this will help you get a huge advantage over everyone else.

Don’t you want an advantage in your career?

© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC 2015, 2021


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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