A candidate sent me her resume in response to a job posting. Her resume was not a match, but she had a great education and fantastic experience in customs, so I gave her a call to find out why she applied and what she was looking for.

“I got your resume yesterday,” I began. “You applied to a posting I have for a Director of Transportation. This job doesn’t appear to be a match, as we are looking for someone focused on trucking, but you have an interesting background, so I thought I’d see if we can help you with your job search.”

I then asked, “what sort of opportunity are you looking for?”

She responded by saying she wanted a Director role. After further probing, she told me she wanted to work in supply chain management, but she wouldn’t be more specific.

Supply chain management is an incredibly broad field. It includes transportation planning and execution (across various modes of transport), customs and trade compliance, warehousing and distribution, purchasing, inventory and demand planning, just to name a few aspects.

I pointed out her work experience in customs, and pushed for specifics on what she was targeting, but she wouldn’t say anything more specific than supply chain management. She seemed to think her education and background would make her suitable for any supply chain opportunity, and was trying to convince me of this, so after a few more questions I hung up the phone.

I realized that, although she had a good resume, if she could not articulate what sort of role she was looking for and why, I would be unable to help her with her job search.

If you are willing to take any job, it actually makes the recruiter’s job harder. If you’re looking for a new job, you need to be able to explain exactly what sort of opportunity you’re looking for. If you tell me you’re looking to work in supply chain, that’s simply not specific enough.

Not knowing what you want is like trying to hit a dartboard while blindfolded. If you don’t know what job you want, how can you expect a recruiter to help you find it?

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