Posted by: deltadallas | January 17, 2011

Common Sense or Informed Behavior?

Common sense is a phrase that is used heavily, but do we really know what it is?  By definition, common sense is knowledge that almost everyone should either have, or information that everyone should be able to agree upon.

What happens when people are introduced to a new concept?  Will it be common sense to them to understand that concept?  Probably not – they’re going to need someone to guide them and mentor them through the unknown territory.

I’ll use an example that has happened in my world lately.  A candidate who hasn’t had to look for a job in over 20 years is now on the job market.  Wow!  Think of the changes in that time span!  Were there HRIS and applicant tracking systems then?  Definitely not.  Were there dozens of websites dedicated to the job search process?  Again – definitely not.  Was there a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, where someone could post a thought and have countless people see that thought?  Nope.  Shoot – was there even an Internet in 1990?  Not really.  It was still being called the “Information Super Highway” at that point, and it was still just a glimmer of something to come. 

As I guide the candidate through his job search, I have to remember that what comes as second nature to me is completely new to him. Should he worry about the formatting of the soft copy of his resume?  When he prints it, the formatting is just fine. Should he really take the time to fill out that online profile as completely as possible?  After all, all the information that he will put on the profile is in his resume.  Is it in poor taste to email his thank you notes, or should he risk the two to three day delay that will be caused by the postal service?

The bottom line is this – we all talk about the fact that common sense is lacking in today’s society.  In many ways, that’s true.  There are always going to be moments when we look at someone and say, “Really?!”  We just have to remember that there are also times that what comes as second nature to us might be new territory for the person to whom we’re speaking.

Dana Lee, CPC, CTS is a recruiter with Delta Dallas. You can reach her at 972-788-2300 or dlee@deltadallas.com.

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Responses

  1. Thank You for all the great information.

  2. It is good to discuss common sense and informed behavior. It seems that there is a belief in the Business Community that a person who has held a job for many years and may not understand how to look for a job in today’s job market is not qualified to learn new concepts. Why would a person hold a job for so long if this were not true? It is true that many people who are simply looking for work may not understand all the ins and outs of how to play he job seeking game, but this does not mean this person who has held good jobs is not qualified to learn the new concepts necessary to meet the demands of those seeking qualified workers. I believe there should be a balance between the job seeker and the candidate seeker. Just as those who are looking for qualified candidates want to find job seekers who understand the job seeking game, those who are seeking would like for the candidate seeker to equally understand that they are not interested in playing games but serious about doing an outstanding job when opportunity comes.

  3. The current job market and approach to finding one’s next opportunity is light-years different than what it was just five years ago. Not only changes in technology, but the emphasis on social media and networking to feret out a job. Dana–thanks for sharing your perspective as a recruiter.

  4. I agree that common sense is not all that common. I do like the way the point was made in this blog. Sometimes common knowledge is not common. That to me is different from a person not knowing when it is appropriate to do or say simple things… for instance, saying please and thank you! Not doing these sort of things demonstrates a lack of common sense. The word ignorance is not as harsh as the terms in which people generally use it. It is simply a lack of knowledge. It is always nice to lend a helping hand and more so to someone who truely ignorant to the subject matter.

  5. Being a baby boomer, it is common sense for me to politely find out how computer savvy another baby boomer is. It is not necessary to ask generations behind me if they have any computer knowledge because they are raised with computersl; all that needs to be determined is their level of proficiency. Likewise, younger generations typically don’t stay with the same company for years and years as did their predecessors, so they will have more resume-writing and interviewing experience. The good news is that keyboarding, resume-writing, and interviewing classes are available to anyone rusty or otherwise out of practice, the idea being to make oneself as marketing as possible. Matching job skills to job requirements is not easy — talented recruiters like Dana just make it look easy! Thanks for sharing, Dana, and inviting me to participate.


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