What Recruiters Do Versus What You Think They Do

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What Recruiters Do Versus What You Think They Do

I’m talking to the job seekers; those who are looking for that next job after being laid off. The ones who never needed help because they were always given jobs from friends or family members – but now that’s dried up. I’m writing to those who are looking high and low for a job and they feel they have a ton of value that they can bring to company if only someone would hire them. You, yes I am talking to you.

However, I am not talking to recruiters right now – feel free to stop reading because I do not want you to read this and compare it to your job description and then email, text, tweet or send me a LinkedIn message. In the words of Chris Paul, this might not be for you.

This is for the many confused job seekers that I talk to all the time, either on the phone, over twitter chats, Skype sessions, video conferences, as guest speaker at local colleges and HR conferences. The good news is that people are reading all the so called expert articles on what makes a good resume, LinkedIn profile and interviewee but that’s also the bad news as well. It’s bad because as you know all of us experts have different opinions; for example, one will say to drop the objective, while another says keep it.

Another area of confusion out there is the role of the recruiter in the job process.  Most believe the recruiter is there to help bring them into the organization and they just assume that all recruiters are worth a plug nickel – meaning that there’s some sort of certification or job requirement which makes for an effective recruiter…well, there is not. Unfortunately, there are many, many, many recruiters who are in the game by happenstance or luck. They have no recruiting background, training or skills in talent assessment at all. They don’t even know how to screen a resume, conduct a proper interview and evaluate someone’s potential – think about some of your interviews where something seemed off! We all have been there.

Some recruiters will call you without being prepared for the interview, others will tear you down and tell what’s wrong with you, and yet others will ask illegal questions about your marital status and family situation.

Here are some more of your assumptions about recruiters…

You think they are going to get your resume and search high and low to match you to a job. Nope. If they can’t figure out what you are applying for a fair amount of time (and that depends on the recruiter, the company, the time constraints, the stack of other resumes and the any other variation that happens in an instant) then they move on.

You think recruiters are there to help you but they are not, they are there to help the company or their client. There are different types of recruiters. You have agency recruiters, executive recruiters, freelance recruiters and my favorite corporate recruiters (no, really I like them the best because they aren’t paid based on placements – so it’s not a numbers game). Have you ever had 2 different recruiters try to place you for the same job? That’s freelance or agency recruitment – it’s all about commission.

You think recruiters are going to read your 4 page, 1100 word resume. Newsflash, they are not. They do not have time to read your biography.

You think you have clearly outlined all of your strengths – all 24 of them. You have not. Lately, I have been getting a lot of general resumes from professionals who want to been as a Senior or Executive level. I’ve said this many times and I will continue to say it because I believe it and know that it works – you cannot position yourself as a generalist, you have to focus in on the top 2 things that you do well and create a narrative that employers find valuable. All of this “I can do anything” and “I just need a job” is not going to work.

And to wrap this up, recruiters will scan your resume and they will try to match you to an opening, they will try to sell you to the hiring manager – if they can clearly understand your resume and if you tell them exactly which position you are applying for, that will help a lot.

Finally, there are some WONDERFUL Recruiters out there. Seriously, some of them go WAY above and beyond to try to help candidates with their job search, even offering tools, tips and resources (like me – a resume writer) and I salute them because honestly recruiting is vitally important.