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July 10, 2009
This Ain't Burger King
You can complain all you want about registering for multiple sites to apply for job listings, or that Recruiters aren't sending your work out, or that you don't get a reply after applying for a position, or that the time line to fill easy positions can stretch upward of two months.  This is your reality and whining won't help anything and please stop whining about it to me.

We are in the midst of a completely unbalanced market.  Supply and demand couldn't be further apart and Employers are taking advantage of the situation.  No, it's not right but it's reality.  I've been in the business of employment matchmaking through a few of these cycles now and have a suggestion to help break the pattern of rude behavior that both sides are guilty of.

While there is a balance that can occure between job openings to bodies, it is rare.  The pendulum swings back quickly the other direction and then the seats of power shift.  There will be a time in the future where you're in high demand again and companies will be begging for you to come work for them (I promise, there will be!).  This is where you will find your chance to step up and break the cycle.  Be the bigger person.  Right the wrongs.

You will have an opportunity to respond to all inquiries about your resume and portfolio, return calls to Recruiters, show up for interviews, and have reasonable salary expectations.  Yes, you were guilty of NOT doing all these things during the 'good times'. You probably can't imagine treating anyone the way you've been treated recently, but I promise you, most of you did.  I can't possibly count all the voicemail messages I left over the years that were unreturned.  I don't even think Google can track on that level (and frankly many of my calls were returned - but I'm talking that kind of volume, people).  It's ok, I forgive you.  Power is a powerful drug and you were hooked.  You were also busy, not looking for a new job, didn't have the time to think of colleagues to refer, meant to call back but ended up forgetting, etc.  I hear the same things from Employers right now about Job Seekers attempting to reach them with the reverse perspective.

However, it will be up to you to create change and behave politely when you have the power again after we recover from this cruel recession.  Then, when we inevitably hit the next one (should be in about ten years by my calculations) perhaps Employers will return the favor and behave politely to you.  They're not treating you well now and it's in direct retaliation to how they were treated the last go-round - and this has been going on for decades.

So my humble advice is actually for the future: Play nicely when you have the chance and remember the Golden Rule.

P.S. Any Employers reading this, please pay it forward starting now - let's not wait ten years to show some respect for each other.

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Amy Hoover has been with Talent Zoo for more than 12 years. Considered an industry expert in employment practices and trends, she speaks often at events and is frequently interviewed by industry publications.

Amy was also widely read as the premier blogger on Hiring-Revolution for many years where she earned a reputation for wit, entertainment, information, and no bull. You can find her on Linked, friend her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.
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