What? A recruiter is telling you NOT to use a recruiter? Yes, THIS recruiter is telling you that in some situations don't and the inspiration came from a discussion with a new web acquaintance, Elizabeth, a career counselor who works FOR the job seeker, helping them to find their next position and coaching them on how to maneuver themselves often AROUND the HR Department (a good thing) AND Independent outside Recruiters too on occasion!

At the time I was inviting my new web friend to be a Featured Resource Member at our Linda Hertz Group and to share her articles and wisdom with us; she responded by saying, “That would be great Linda, but you might not want ALL of my articles because of my coaching approach and it might be detrimental to your recruiting business”. I thought for a second and said, “Well, if I am true to the blog and career resource side of our business, then I must allow ALL opinions and thoughts, even those that may be counter to my recruiting business model and even those I may be in total disagreement” (after all, it is the Linda Hertz GROUP, the content should not consist just of my opinion)!

Elizabeth and I have traded emails back and forth the past 2 weeks since our original call with leads and pleasantries while I was actively working 3 new job openings. As I recruited for these openings I realized that Elizabeth is correct not EVERYONE should be using a recruiter, but on the flip side, it won’t hurt you either as you will see later in this article. How did I come to this conclusion? After seeing the many resume’s pour into my website or my email box that were simply not a fit for the jobs I had posted this past week! I am also referring to resumes that are close, but are not “IT”; meaning their background did not match ALL the minimal qualifications of the job. Outside Recruiters are hired to find the “IT” person…not the nearly “IT”.

So there you go, you need to determine if you are the “IT” person as reflected by your resume, because a resume is a reflection of your experience and your career strategy! It is not a reflection of how you will change in the future; I wish I collected a dollar for every time I hear, “but I will stay longer than 3 years at the next job, the past four were just horrible companies to work for!"

Your resume “is what it is” and that is what a Recruiter bases their talent search upon, finding the person whose CURRENT resume reflects ALL or almost ALL of the job requirements of the job they have been contracted to find. A Recruiter must find their hiring manager and HR Person the “IT” person or they will not be hired again to help them find their talent!

So the question you must ask yourself, “Is my resume reflecting the “IT” person that a particular job post is seeking”? In order to answer that question you must look at yourself objectively and through the lens of what the MINIMAL and OPTIONAL, BUT DESIRED REQUIREMENTS are of a given job. Simply put, does your background measure up? In this job market, you better have ALL the minimal requirements and MOST, if not ALL, of the OPTIONAL BUT DESIRED requirements too (see my earlier article about our current market conditions and how that has changed up the hunt for GREAT candidates).

Should YOU Use a Recruiter? 2 Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Does my Resume meet ALL the MINIMAL Job Requirements?

2. Does my Resume have the background NOT desired by the Job Post? Examples;

a. Yes, no pharma, means “NO PHARMA”.

b. Yes, currently employed, means CURRENTLY EMPLOYED (still being on severance is NOT being currently employed).

c. Yes, Business to Business; want copier, Gallo wine, ADP or similar SALES background, means no Real-estate, Insurance, Mortgage Broker or other Financial type Sales.

d. Yes, a four year degree, means you must have a four year degree PERIOD (All of my companies will NOT accept even the deepest experience without a degree, there use to be wiggle room on this even 5 years ago, But not now).

Seems simple enough, doesn’t it? Yet, I do have job candidates that will call and argue with me about the criteria I MUST MEET as a Recruiter, I am not the hiring manager, I have been hired to find the people who FIT the Job Order! Another line I would like to collect a dollar for every time I hear it (typically from a candidate NOT qualified for a job opening I have), “Linda, I don’t have the background but I assure you if YOU can get me in front of the hiring manager he will hire me!”; NO, he will not hire you and he is more likely to fire me for sending someone like you!

So what do you do if you see a Job Posting from a Recruiter that you are not an exact fit? First of all, go ahead and submit your resume, but I suggest you indicate you are interested in the position but you have a background that may be missing a few pieces, and most importantly you want that recruiter to hold your resume for perhaps a better fit for an UPCOMING position. Often, I have taken a resume submitted for one position and I get a new position sometimes even a year later…and boom, I get them in line for the interview right away because I already had their resume! Just realize, when you submit your resume for a job where you are not a fit, means you will probably NOT get called back by the recruiter.

So what is the approach to use when you are not a fit, but still want to give it the college try? Well first of all, you must try to determine who the hiring company is from the recruiter’s postings, once you have identified that, you are positioned to use a more sophisticated approach of getting YOURSELF in front of the hiring manager. There are some very effective techniques and that will be addressed in future premium resources I will have available and at a discount for Linda Hertz Group Members!

So for now, practice the technique of identifying whether you should be using a recruiter for that job post you see! This alone should reduce the amount of wasted time applying to positions that you are not qualified. Follow some of the techniques I outlined in the 10 steps to getting a medical sales job quickly, you really don’t need to apply to multiple jobs with one recruiting firm if you have already blasted your resume to them with one e-mail as outlined in the 10 Step Plan!

All the best to you as you attempt to either get a job in the same identical field or the more difficult challenge of changing your career! Both can be accomplished by developing the right skill set!

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