Broadcast Letter to Recruiters (Chief Operating Officer))
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Mark Fitzgerald Halsted
April 29, 20--
Ms. Jane Richardson
Dear Ms. Richardson,
IBM offered me a high-level position as Director of
Employee Relations at the New York headquarters, a job which was to encompass labor
relations employee relations, staffing, security, and safety. In reality, the position
focused only on staffing and was considerably smaller in scope and responsibility than
originally described. In addition, IBM HR has positioned itself as a tactical gatekeeper
rather than strategic partner, and, for these reasons, I feel uncomfortable in the present
position. I believe that an outside search may produce a better fit for my background and
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Author's note: To understand the importance of this letter, it's helpful to read Mark's full story. It tells what his earlier career had been, and why he lost his job. As a matter of fact, Mark was fired, and this is often very difficult to explain. Half the success of a job search after being terminated is to create a plausible, believable business reason for your departure. It can be fatal to say something like, "My boss and I had a different vision . . . or a different style . . . or a different way of doing things."
Mark and I had to wrestle for several hours, even several days, to come up with a good business reason for his departure. He was dejected and couldn't help feeling he had failed. The truth was, he had been promised a much bigger job. The staffing position was way too small for him. In addition, Mark is more of a strategic partner with senior management than his then-boss allowed. In point of fact, the boss was an autocrat.
Notice how Mark positions the loss in this letter--what he tells the recruiter, what he does not tell the recruiter. This is an extremely good example of explaining one's reason for leaving--after having been fired--in a positive light. Go to Mark's story: