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Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Using A Surrogate (VIDEO)

To me, this was  an awful political season the United States. Between the primaries in the general election, we witnessed attacks and revelations by all the candidates that are absolutely miserable. In the past, politicians haven’t been a part of this, preferring instead a different way to attack their opponents.

There are often better ways to handle things than badgering a hiring manager.


Here's a lesson we can take from politicians and too few of us use it.  When politicians want to criticize someone, particularly presidential candidates, are they out there and not in their opponent… Well, this year it's a little bit different… But, traditionally, are they out there knocking their opponent or 2. They have a surrogate out there doing it for them?

Answer.  A Surrogate.

People in office, and usually a president, doesn't take time to criticize because it doesn't make them look "Presidential."  They have the Vice President do it for them. Politicians (again, this is been an exceptional year) usually have a surrogate do it for them. So, instead of Sec. Clinton criticizing Donald Trump, she sends out a surrogate like 1 of the people who has been working for the Clintons over the years.  These people go out there and do the dirty work. That's the traditional way to handle it.

For you as a job hunter or a marketing person following up on something, having a surrogate do it for you goes a long way toward making your hands look," clean," versus "dirty."  For example, you want to follow up and you have been introduced or knows someone in the organization.  Instead of reaching out directly to the hiring manager, have your surrogate, have the person you know who works there . Check behind the scenes and do it for you, instead of you doing it yourself.  Instead of putting the call in, and the recruiter who represented call them.

It's far better to do that than to go in there correctly.  Ultimately, if the surrogate does it for you. People may get annoyed at the surrogate, rather than you, so you still maintain the "halo" around the.  This will become important as time goes on.

So, I don't care if it's in job search, business development or sale situations, going behind the scenes and having a surrogate represent you goes much further toward maintaining your image and still getting results.

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves life coaching, as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching or interview coaching from me?  Email me at and put the word, “Coaching” in the subject line. offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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