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Career Tips - Supersonic Searching Mondays
Written by Abby Kohut   

This Halloween we had more trick or treaters than we have ever had. The costumes were of the usual variety with my favorite being a little girl dressed up as one of the Three Musketeers. The older and wiser I get, the more these customs become less childish and more of something to ponder. For example, why is it that we feel comfortable handing out candy to strangers but yet we don't feel comfortable handing out job leads to fellow job seekers?

Back in 2006 I joined several Yahoo Groups that shared job leads. At that time, I was searching for a full time Director of Recruiting role and was hoping to join a company in NJ or NYC. I couldn't wait to search my e-mail box every day to see if any new leads had come in from the group. The leads did come in, but they tended to be shared by the same bunch of people.

As the years went on, I joined more Yahoo Groups as I began searching for contract and consulting roles. I continued to be surprised at the lack of leads, not just for myself, but for other kinds of positions in the group.

If you're wondering what kinds of leads are worth sharing, it's the ones that not everyone knows about. Going onto Monster and sending out leads that everyone has access to is not what I'm referring to. It's the times when the headhunters call you and tell you about a job that you are not interested in applying for. It's the jobs that the recruiters send you via e-mail or on LinkedIn that you have no interest in. It's the positions you find out about from a friend or an acquaintance. What's worth sharing are the "underground job leads", the ones that are hidden from the average job seeker's radar.

If everyone sent in one lead a week to their respective Yahoo Groups, each person in the group would have access to 500-1000 leads per week which, in this economy, would be super duper.

So why then do people not share leads with their groups?

Is it fear of competition? Is it embarrassment that you are out of work? Is it that you don't want anyone to know what you're looking for?

Imagine how it would feel tomorrow morning if you woke up and found the lead for your perfect job in your e-mail. Then, imagine landing the job. How grateful would you be that someone sent that lead in for you? How much would you want to run over to that person's house and give them a great big hug? Now think what it would be like if you were the person being hugged. What if you shared a lead that wasn't right for you but it was perfect for someone else? It's a wonderful feeling to help someone else. The only one stopping you from having it is you.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Now that Halloween is over, pretend that your job leads are like leftover tootsie rolls. Hand them out to Job-or-Treaters rather than just throwing them in the trash where the raccoons can find them. Remind every job seeker you know to do the same. Once you start handing out tootsie rolls, so will everyone else. And then suddenly everyone will have tootsie rolls (and job leads) to enjoy just like the kids had on Halloween.
 
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Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!