June 8, 2014 2 Comments
I recall a conversation I had with a recruiter who told me I’m the enemy. The reason she told me this is because my job as a career strategist and workshop facilitator is to prepare jobseekers for their search. And I imagine this recruiter believes I instruct my customers to do anything to pull one over on recruiters.
While it’s true my goal is to help my customers get jobs, I will not go to any measure to help them land in a position, especially when they’re not qualified.
The fact that this recruiter called me the enemy got me to thinking about how misunderstood I am when it comes to preparing jobseekers for their search. Here are 8 myths and facts about what I do.
1. Myth: I tell my customers that all recruiters are scum. That they only care about themselves and their client, the company.
Fact: I tell my customers a recruiter’s paycheck comes from the company. However, the recruiters’ goal is to create a match between employer and candidate. Many recruiters want to build healthy relationships with jobseekers–it only makes good business sense.
2. Myth: I encourage my customers to lie on their résumés or, at the very least, embellish their accomplishments to trick recruiters into calling them.
Fact: My mantra is, “Never lie on your résumé.” People who lie on their résumé are found out for the frauds they are. So don’t make it worse by claiming you’ve accomplished more than you have, I advise.
I’ll admit that I tell my customers to conceal their age by only listing 10-15 years of work history.
3. Myth: I tell my customers that the recruiter’s purpose is to screen them out of consideration because of their their salary requirement, so they should agree to a lower salary. Then they can battle it out with the hiring manager.
Fact: Yes, recruiters need to know if the opportunity is at all plausible, so I tell my jobseekers it’s best to know earlier than later if they and the employer are even close. Why waste everyone’s time?
4. Myth: Similar to myth # 3, I tell my customers that the telephone interview with the recruiter is only a screening to verify they have the technical requirements for the job and has nothing to do with determining personality fit.
Fact: Recruiters need to verify if my customers can do the job, have the required software/hardware/procedural skills required by the employer; but good recruiters also determine if applicants are a personality fit. I tell my customers to be prepared for more difficult questions, including behavioral-based ones.
5. Myth: I tell my customers that recruiters have no say in the hiring process.
Fact. Recruiters don’t make the ultimate decision, but their opinion is valued by the hiring manager, so the interviews will be challenging and reveal the strengths, as well as the weaknesses, of the applicants.
6. Myth: I tell my customers to go around the recruiters and speak directly with the hiring managers.
Fact. Going around the recruiters will not only fray relationships with recruiters, it will demonstrate a lack of integrity and will turn the hiring managers off. However, if my customers are not getting the love from a recruiter, they should take measures into their own hands.
7. Myth. I tell my customers to contact as many recruiters as possible to increase their chances of getting a job.
Fact. My father told me as a teenager to play the field; this always backfired. The recruiter can be your best friend, so don’t dis him by not showing the love. My customers need to build the trust with the recruiter and not insult him by being a player. Some recruiters are putzes, so move on until you find one or two that deserve your love.
8. Myth. I tell my customers that all recruiters read cover letters.
Fact. From the words of a recruiter who doesn’t read cover letters, “I read 200 résumés for one position. No, I don’t have time to read cover letters.” Some recruiters (the smart ones) read cover letters, but no all.
As you can see, I’m not fighting against recruiters; I’m merely trying to prepare my jobseekers in a realistic manner. I don’t believe all things come up smelling like roses. There are jobseekers who will pull dumb moves, and there are recruiters who will treat my customers with disrespect. The goal is to develop a partnership between jobseekers and recruiters.