Weakest Link

Who is your weakest link? Go ahead and ask. “Why Lisa, whatever do you mean?” I mean, who is the person in your life with access to your mail, computer or phone who you’d least like interacting with a potential employer? If bad luck finds you easily, that is the person who is going to answer the phone or accidentally delete an email when the employer you’ve been crossing every finger over finally gets back to you.

As a recruiter, I’ve had many interesting conversations with weak links. Since I feel like sharing, here are some snip-its.

“Daddy can’t talk right now. He’s in the bathroom with a magazine.”
“Look lady, I don’t know who you are calling MY man, but you’d best leave him alone.”
“I knew John had some interviews. Now are you the colored girl or the white one?”
“Sorry, I don’t hear so well. You say your name is Theresa?”
“Can mom call you back? She’s taking a nap right now and I can only wake her up for important stuff.”

There are many, many, many more examples I could share. I’ve had candidates call me guns a blazing over my lack of follow-up not knowing I’d left multiple messages. I’ve given messages and phone numbers to family members who, when I asked them to repeat my number back to me, told me they’d need to go get a pen so they could write it down. Seriously. I’ve had little kids sing me their ABC’s and then hang up the phone.

When you are on the hunt for a job, you have to pay attention to more than just yourself. Take a look around and assess who in your life could possibly cross paths with a potential employer. Who could pick up the phone? Who gets the mail? Who might throw away mail on a counter? Who has access to your computer? Who uses your email? Anyone who fits under one or more of these categories needs a sit down training on how to handle phone calls, what to say, where to write things and what not to touch. If there are individuals who can’t be trained, say for instance the chatty three year old who likes to share your bathroom habits, then you need to cut them out of the process. Move phones where only adults can reach them. Get a cell phone that only you answer and use that number for your job search.

Take my advice to heart. I’m telling you, the weakest link surfaces more than you know in people’s job searches. As entertaining as it’s been for me, I doubt the job seekers involved found it nearly as funny as I did.


  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this! We all hate to think of our kids or loved ones as our weakest link, but you're absolutely right! I had never even thought about it!

  • The Whiteheads says:

    What wonderful advice. I never would have thought of this as a stumbling block, but you are absolutly correct.

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