Wednesday, June 10, 2009

We do this for a living, ya know...

It never ceases to amaze me that so many candidates are incredibly unresponsive to resume and interviewing advice.

I work as a technical recruiter. I don't hire anyone to work at my company; I "source" people for contracts with clients (mostly the federal government). Consequently, a lot of my work is not about finding the right candidate, but making sure the right* candidate wins the contract. This means I not only search for people, read resumes and interview people, but I also edit resumes, write proposals and prepare candidates for interviews with clients.

During this process, it is often my duty to tease more information out of a consultant and have them modify or add to the information in their resume. Also, I will give people tips on basic interviewing techniques, and also try to troubleshoot potential issues that will be raised in interviews (occasionally, I may also have to calm someone down, or build up their confidence). Of course, some people just aren't interested. Their resume is already perfect, and they already know how to do really well in an interview (which might lead someone to wonder why they need to find a new job, but I digress...). Obviously, these people need no help from the rest of us.

Now, I will admit. For some, this is true. Some of them have awesome resumes and know exactly how to handle pretty much any interviewer they will encounter. Still, what's wrong in listening to another perspective?

And herein lies the twist. The good ones, they listen. We had a candidate in this afternoon who will be meeting with a client later this week. She knows what she's doing; she knows what they're looking for; and she presents herself quite well. Nonetheless, she came in taking notes, asking questions and generally soaking up any information she could from us.

There are very few of us who can afford to tune out the rest of the world. There are few of us who have such a high degree of expertise that they own the procurement process. The ones who do, are generally humble enough to make no such assumption.

A colleague has a blog that gives lots of tips in job searching and dealing with recruiters. If you don't think he can help you, that probably means he can.

P.S. In the middle of writing this post, I was contacted by a very capable consultant (whom I wrote about here). He's incredibly receptive to advice, despite the fact that he knows exactly what he's doing; I am certain such a character trait is a benefit in his career.

P.P.S. I am, by no means, suggesting that I know exactly what I'm doing. I welcome advice from others who have different experiences.

*Naturally, the "right candidate" is the one that I am presenting to the client.

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