In my career I’ve had the opportunity to work with many recruiters. Quite frankly, some are better than others. Let me start by saying that I have the highest respect for anyone that chooses to spend their days helping people like me find work. Being a recruiter is not easy. These folks have to be able to have high level conversations with job seekers and employers on a very wide range of technical topics. There is a lot of anxiety involved in job searches (from both sides of the table). It’s a game of risk, nerve and sometimes one or both sides of the conversation are bluffing. This is not an easy gig.
Having said all that … here are some tips that I think some of the recruiters I’ve worked with could benefit from.
- Ask me what I love about my work. Find out what excites me about what I do, find out why I still want to do this job. Hint: The money is great, but I need more than a great rate to be happy in any gig I take on.
- Ask me what I hate about my work. Knowing my pain points will help you avoid placing me somewhere with a lot of sharp edges. I’ve done this long enough that I’ve learned to be upfront about the things that get in my way. I can’t always see those sharp edges in your job description, but I count on you to know the terrain before you send me in.
- Ask me what I’m learning now. This is an important question to me. My resume tells you where I’ve been, this question will give you an idea where I’m going.
- Read my resume. I wrote it to start a conversation about my work. If you call me and have no questions about my resume I’ll know you didn’t read it. If I can’t count on you to read my resume I can’t count on you.
- I want to know the salary range for the jobs we discuss. I don’t want to share the details of compensation of my current/previous jobs. In my mind, one has nothing to do with the other. I negotiate compensation for each job on it’s merits. While I prefer not to talk compensation details of previous jobs, I have no problem sharing my compensation goals during each job search, I think that’s fair and it’s something you need to know.