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Why not to ask “are you hiring?”

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Hat tip to Michael Lunsford who provided the inspiration for this post. Michael and I chat through DMs (Direct Messages) on Twitter now and then and he has inspired more than one blog post here. We were talking about how people say there are no jobs. Michael pointed out that the strategy some people use for inquiring about openings is often why they get the “no” answer.

Don’t be an “I’ll take anything” job seeker

When people go door to door saying are you hiring, they are sending the message of desperation and the “I’ll take anything” model of job search and no one wants to hire desperate or the I’ll take anything bunch.

Employers are looking for people who can “do the job” and so when they are looking for a new employee, they want to have the person prove why they fit the job.

Michael was telling me that they actually had an opening when the last person stopped by to ask the ill-phrased question: “Are you hiring?” Instead he suggested that a simple change in the question would have worked magic: “Hey, I hear you’re hiring. Whom should I talk to?”

After this post was published last night, Michael added more of his strategy in this approach via DM:

That whole “I hear you’re hiring” thing is very disarming. They might think to themselves “I didn’t know we were hiring, I better check.”

If they’re not really hiring, all you have to say is, “it must have been old information.”

Might even open an opportunity to leave a calling card or resume “just in case.”

Try that strategy next time you are tempted to ask “are you hiring?” Job search is always about strategy and marketing. Here’s the 9 point checklist on why you might be still struggling to find your new position.

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