I’ve worked as a full-time recruiter and I’ve been working with recruiters and HR people for a long time. When people ask for advice, I try to be thoughtful and not flippant. I also know that some recruiters spend a lot of time advising and coaching job seekers (whether professionally or otherwise).
That’s great of course. People need people who are familiar with the industry. But there is something else I know. Recruiters are picky about different things. Some love finding typos and minor spelling mistakes and throwing out resumes because of that. Some hate cover letters and never read them. Some never see all of that fancy font and nice formatting because they have an applicant tracking system that automatically parses and force ranks. And some do the exact opposite of all of those things.
The other thing people won’t tell you is that not every recruiter is good at their job. I know, shock of shocks. So not only will every recruiter have different preferences (and therefore colors their advice in that way) but some of them may be giving advice that is destined to fail in any situation.
Really, there is something a bit more simple and radical that could help more than any of these things:
Be a good recruiter and demand the same of your colleagues.
Imagine if every recruiter analyzed candidates based on rational criteria instead of based on some combination of gut feeling, handshake strength and if they chose to show up six minutes early instead of five? It would be a much more simple way of getting a job and wouldn’t require hours of coaching to get through the process successfully.
And maybe that’s a bit pie in the sky for you. I get that. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least try to think of ways of fixing your own process and line of thinking. At the very least, you’ll be helping the most important job seekers of all: your own.
Originally Posted on Rehaul.