Using The Myth of the Passive Job Applicant to Your Advantage | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 2070 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains The Myth of the Passive Job Applicant and how to use it to your advantage.

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Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm called the Big Game Hunter because I hunted down leaders and staff for organizations for more than 40 years. Today, I want to talk with you about "the myth of the passive job applicant" and how to really use that mythology to your advantage. Let me first define what a passive job applicant is in the popular lexicon of recruiters and corporations.
And that is, a passive job applicant is one who doesn't appear as though they're actively looking for work. Their resume is not on the job boards because they're too busy doing what they do in their current employers. The myth is that these people are superior to the active job applicants because the active ones are the ones that got fired by their previous firms because the performance was poor than others. That the passive job applicant is so busy doing what they're doing that they would never see the ad on the job board that would cause them to apply. So, these are deemed to be superior applicants to the active ones.
Now. It's a crock. You and I both know that .I helped to create the myth many many years ago when I started an agency and I didn't really have an advertising budget that was worth much of anything. I was in New York at the time the New York Times was costing something like $25 per column line in the classified listings three-line minimum and that would basically put your ad in the lower part of the page. To get any sort of visibility, you had to be on the top of the crease which meant you ran a 40 line ad at $25 per line. It was really expensive. It's expensive. n. Imagine what it was like in the early 70s.
So in creating the myth of the passive applicant, what I would say to people is much like I described. What I do is I recruit people who are not actively looking for work. You get the best person available, not the best person who is reading the New York Times on Sunday and that resonated with organizations. My competitors started to use the line. Employers started to ask whether or not I was referring passive job applicants.
It was hysterical to me that things were coming full circle. And, now it's become so popular that this whole mythology has been created about it even though it's factually incorrect. So, recognize that if there's a firm that ran an ad and you didn't respond to it and they found you on LinkedIn ,to them you are a passive applicant even though you're aggressively looking for a job. that's how goofy this is.
So, to take advantage of the mythology, number one is where you can when you're on a job board, list your resume with a blind heading. By that, I mean, you know those listings where no name or address appears and they just have an email address from the job board? Even if you have to pay for do it because that hides the fact that you're looking for work.By the way, remember your own employer's on the job boards trying to see whether or not their employees are looking for work. So, you want to hide the fact that you're job hunting.
Secondly. In terms of LinkedInwhich is the obvious place where you want to be found, you want to have a great profile available. Underneath your name, you want to have a list of skills that are your strengths,, not just some job title that is so generic it's purposeless. Better to talk in terms of management experience for particular lines of business or management experience with certain technologies or development experience with certain Technologies or accounting experience focused in on . . . Then you talk about it. Think in terms of what's going to make it easy for someone to figure out whether or not to scroll down to see what you've done. You want to pretend a six-year-old is scanning LinkedIn ,looking for people and, as such, make it obvious for them. So, really what you want to be doing is hiding the fact that you're looking, even if you're out of work and aggressively looking and having a LinkedIn profile where, number one is ,your email address is correct. It's bizarre to me how many people have the wrong email address on their LinkedIn profile. Number two is they have a ridiculous photo of themselves or that image block where there's no picture there. But there's a I forgot what it's called, but a blacked-out image of someone there.
It's goofy. Don't have a picture of yourself and your partner and your kids up there. Have a professional headshot appear. Something that's going to make them see that you don't look like a sociopath and that you have a professional demeanor. I also think of your profile as a way of enticing people to contact you. Recognize this means that you have to make yourself available for response.
You can have a great LinkedIn profile and never check to see if you have messages, never respond to messages. What's the point? You know, you need to be out there putting yourself in the position in order to be found and that means replying when you get inMails.
So, this is Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I hope you found today's video helpful.
If you did come over to my website, which is JeffAltman,com and you'll see a lot more there. Of course. You can watch them on YouTube. You can find them at


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff 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, 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.

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