Beat the job board trolls

Putting out an ad for a job that doesn’t exist is called “trolling” in the recruiting business. 

When you troll for fish you drag a bait or lure behind your boat as you putter around the lake.  Eventually a fish grabs it, and you reel in the fish.  When you troll for candidates you put a generic ad out, refresh it occasionally, and try to catch a qualified person looking for a job.  You don’t have a specific job, you just place the ad.

A fishing rod is a stick with a hook at one end and a fool at the other. (Samuel Johnson)

By the way, trolling for candidates is illegal in some states.  Recruiters do it any way because it works. The candidates who get jobs don’t mind.

You need to decide which ads to respond to.  You want to find a company that has a job for you, or a recruiting agency that has a job for you.  That means at times you will deliberately respond to trolling ads, and other times you won’t.

A trolling ad is usually very generic.  It gives no disqualifying details.  It just says, “accountant”, “salesman”,  “vb programmer”, or “electrical engineer”.  Look at trolling ads to figure out which agencies work in your field regularly. Ask some friends if they know the agencies whose ads impress you the most.  Call those agencies when you really just want your resume out to as many hiring companies as possible.  There is nothing wrong with that.

If you are more concerned about getting the right job, only respond to very specific ads.  The more disqualifiers an ad has in it, the more likely you are to get the specific job you want.

Responding to trolling ads is a choice.  You may not care today, but someday it could be important to you.

Something To Do Today            

Go fishing for trolling ads.  Find a few ads that look very generic.  Start collecting them and seeing if they are out there for month or years.  Some are a decade old.


Later: Beat the job boards – electronic filters

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