How to Talk to a Recruiter
No matter where you are in your job search, you should always think about putting your best face forward. If you’re working with a recruiter (which we highly recommend), it’s easy to think they’re just a middle-man, and you don’t need to do much to impress them. Though your technical recruiter doesn’t have the final, say they do get to choose which candidates they put forward. You risk losing out on opportunities if you appear unprofessional or too casual.
So if you want to impress your recruiter, avoid saying these 5 things:
“Yeah, I’ll take any job.”
So you might think this sounds like you are being open-minded or helpful. Or that you’re making their job easier. But for several reasons, you are doing none of those things. Recruiters want to place candidates in positions they align with and will be successful at. Saying you’ll take anything proves you aren’t invested or educated in your industry and field of work. And if you aren’t invested before you even land a position, who’s to say you’ll care or be an engaged employee? Not only will your recruiter think you look desperate, but you’re also downplaying your skills and selling yourself short.
“My last boss/company was terrible.”
As you wouldn’t say this in an interview, don’t tell your technical recruiter.
As their candidate, you are also an extension and representation of them. Bad-mouthing your former boss or former company will undoubtedly put a bad taste in their mouth. The last thing they want is someone super keen to talk smack about their boss.
If your past employer comes up in discussion, stay cool, calm, and neutral. It’s okay to dislike or feel something was missing at your previous job but try to spin it into a positive.
“That’s fine. It’s just a short-term contract anyway.”
At least try to seem a little interested. Your recruiter has worked hard to foster lasting professional relationships with their clients. Their clients trust that they are providing them with the best talent they can find. If you, as a candidate, express your bare minimum commitment to the role, your recruiter probably won’t like that.
“I know we had an interview scheduled today, but I have to cancel.”
Things come up. Life happens. It’s understandable. But don’t cancel the day of just because you don’t feel like it. You appear unengaged but also disrespectful. Coordinating interviews and meetings take time, and cancelling last minute is the ultimate way to say you don’t respect your recruiter’s time.
If you’re running late or need to adjust the time, that’s okay! What matters is that you’re transparent and keep an open line of communication with your recruiter. You can bet you’ve already made a poor first impression if you show up late without notice. And not only does this put you in a poor light, but your recruiter also. So don’t do that to your recruiter.
“You can find it on my resume.”
To make a successful candidate to job match, your recruiter needs to get to know you. Most likely, they’ll want to ask about past experiences and skill sets. Your recruiter has already read your resume, so there’s no need to give this response. You should be able to speak on your experiences in a way that goes beyond the bullet point lists on your resume.
Just because this isn’t a formal interview doesn’t mean your recruiter isn’t evaluating you. As they ask you about technical skills, they also assess your soft skills, such as your communication and interpersonal skills. So if you say, “you can find that on my resume,” it might be a good idea to brush up on those soft skills.
Live Assets is a boutique IT Staffing/Recruiting firm specializing exclusively in building IT teams of excellence for the Information Technology sector.
We are a small, but productive team that works closely together and has had a 96% success rate for the past number of years!
We have a diverse number of clients and industries and focus on both full-time and contract I.T. opportunities.