I’m hoping with the increasing reliance on social media tools, like blogs and microblogs, that job seekers will finally get the message that, by and large, recruiters, like Tony Cox, are not there to find them jobs. Recruiters are there to find companies (who are their source of income) top talent for the positions they have open.
I have a lot of advice when it comes to working with recruiters, but today I want to focus on 4 tell-tale signs that a recruiter is just not that into you. Kind of like dating, if you are seeing these signs, you need to move on. When it comes to working with recruiters, playing the field is a good idea.
1. The recruiter focuses more on your resume than on you. Recruiters read lots of resumes, and they can (and often do) have good advice when it comes to resume presentation. But most recruiters are not certified resume writers; instead, their job is to find top talent to fill the positions they are recruiting for. So when a recruiter starts giving you lots of advice about how to revamp your resume, that should be a sign to you, the candidate, that the recruiter doesn’t see much in your work experience that he or she can work with (at this time anyway).
Here’s some good tips from two of my recruiting friends:
As a recruiter, I have NEVER looked at the resume of a person who was qualified for the job I was trying to fill, and said, “I really like this person’s background, but the font is too small on their resume and it’s too wordy, so I’m going to pass and now spend an inordinate amount of time trying to find someone else who has the skill set I want.” Believe it or not, it is really tough for recruiters to fill positions these days (just as it has been for many years now), so I am NOT going to pass on someone who is a great fit b/c of some trivial reason like I don’t like the font size on their resume.
Early in my career I was an engineering recruiter. If I had a qualified candidate with a poor resume or no resume, I would rewrite it and submit it. I actually was a bit pleased if the resume wasn’t working since that made the job seeker more exclusive to me and my client. I never would have suggested they rewrite the resume before I would consider them. I expected that most of them would not have a good resume.
2. The recruiter keeps telling you all the skills, certifications, experience you lack. I’ve had several job seekers disheartened after speaking with a recruiter who told them they weren’t “recruiting material” for whatever reason. Again, although recruiters, particularly ones who focus on a niche industry, can often have great insight into what skills and so on are particularly sought after, just because this one turns you down, it doesn’t mean everyone will. It just means you aren’t a fit at this time for that recruiter.
3. The recruiter doesn’t return your calls. Recruiters are busy people too, and time is money for them, just like for the rest of us. They want to spend their time wisely and that means focusing on the candidates who meet the requirements of the positions they need to fill. If you don’t meet these requirements, you aren’t likely to get a call back. Of course, some recruiters may be nicer than others and out of courtesy return your calls, but if you are primarily the one initiating all the contact, then that should be a sign to you.
4. The recruiter only makes vague references to potential job opportunities. Because recruiters like to have good talent waiting in the wings, sometimes when they see potential in you for future opportunities, they will mention potential upcoming postings. But that’s all they are: potential positions with no concrete promises. Simply thank the recruiter and move on. Believe me, if that opportunity should ever arise, he or she will call you if you are a fit!