HI! I'm Adam! I'm a recruiter! Oh, you want your dream job? SUPER! Let me see your resume? OH THIS IS PERFECT! I WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING! What's that? you aren't getting interviews? What would I change if I were you? NOTHING. YOU ARE PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. IT'LL HAPPEN IF YOU REALLLLLLY WANT IT. DON'T WORRY, YOU'LL SEE!! Oh, hold on, my co-worker wants to speak to you.
What the hell do you want? Yea, I'm a recruiter...what's it to you? Oh, you're looking for a job? Sure, I'll let you know when I have something. Oh, you didn't tell me your background yet? Right right. Just send me over your resume. Oh you already sent it? *grumble grumble* Give me a second. *grumble grumble grumble*
(5 seconds later)
Haha, very funny. No really, send me over your REAL resume. Oh, really? Well that explains everything then. Also, I just looked at your LinkedIn profile. Nice pic. Tell me, have you considered changing your face?
LinkedIn is a weird place. Overall, it is just fantastic to utilize for networking. BUT...there is one trend that I've noticed that has me a bit disturbed.
Ok...wait, let's make this official
Recently I saw a post that LinkedIn is "a fantastic YES platform." And that hit me hard. And then I saw the comments on the post...those hit me very hard. "Yes, all it takes is effort." "Talent is overrated." "You can accomplish anything if you really want it!" This unbridled enthusiasm, while an overall positive way to lead your life, is such a disaster for recruiters.
Let me explain.
I care about my candidates. Very much. I put a lot of myself into their searches because I know how important work is to one's life. That being said, I will absolutely destroy someone if the feedback is warranted. That is not a threat. I am not "mean." But unfortunately, not everything is perfect with everyone...
If you are not getting interviews, YOU HAVE A RESUME PROBLEM.
If you are interviewing but not getting second interviews, YOU HAVE AN INTERVIEWING PROBLEM.
If you are not getting offers...YOU ARE UNLUCKY AND I DON'T WANT YOU ANYWHERE NEAR ME. Kidding (sort of).
If no one holds the elevator for you, NO ONE LIKES YOU.
It's a fine line that we recruiters have to walk. First, let me introduce you to Good Cop.
Good Cop is there for you. He listens. He's empathetic. He's supportive. He understands the reasons why you left your job. He understands the gaps in your resume. He understands your last boss had it out for you, and things were political. And even better? It's all true. He DOES understand.
But then you have to meet...Bad Cop.
Bad Cop keeps it real. You know why? Because Bad Cop as seen things. BAD THINGS. Bad Cop doesn't care about the reasons, the explanations. Bad Cop lets you know what's up - What clients will think about your resume, your clothes (and as a corollary, your smells), your excuses. Yes, we know they're "reasons" but clients think they are excuses. Oh, a family member was sick you say? BECAUSE ALL I SEE IS A GAP IN YOUR RESUME.
But why??? Why does Bad Cop have to make an appearance? Why can't we just spoon Good Cop all day and not return Bad Cop's texts? Well, without Bad Cop, you wouldn't get a job. Basically Bad Cop is the proxy client. He plays Devil's Advocate. Good Cop is here to understand...but Bad Cop is here to tell you how the client will feel about you.
Recruiters are in the unenviable position of playing Good Cop/Bad Cop. They truly do want to help you, but they also know how their clients are going to react. Which is why, even though Bad Cop may irritate you to no end, he actually has your best interests in mind. Sure, Good Cop may offer you a glass of water, but Bad Cop offers you a big ol' glass of feedback. You may not want it, but you should really take it...he's trying to help. He knows how to play the game and how clients will try to play you. So the next time Bad Cop challenges you on something, just remember, deep down, he's a big softy that's pulling for you, trying to help in the only way he knows how...bluntness.
That's why I have a problem with LinkedIn being labeled a "Yes Platform." There is nothing wrong with the word "No." Encouragement isn't just yessing someone, telling them what they want to hear. Engaging, networking, mentoring...it's about telling people what they NEED to hear. Everyday I review resumes, and everyday I give constructive feedback on what to change. At least 2 times a day I get this response: "Oh, no one ever told me that before." Which is why they are still looking for a new job...because people have yessed them.
Just because someone offers criticism, that doesn't mean it's negative. It is a chance to improve. Very rarely do individuals improve when they are told they have nothing to improve upon. Recruiters do this for candidates ON A DAILY BASIS. I know recruiters seem nitpicky...or negative. Ok negative. They seem negative. VERY NEGATIVE. And dead inside (SO COLD). But in reality it's not negative...it's brainstorming. Strategy. Which clients would be a waste of your time. How to approach certain clients or how to address certain topics that clients will question. It's about figuring out the best approach. FOR YOU.
So the next time a recruiter seems skeptical about one of your responses, recommends a resume tweak, or has a suggestion to change job search tactics, remember...it's just tough love.
If you have any questions about anything I discussed in the above article, looking for a job and/or working with a recruiter, just ask! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for making last month's article "Ghosted...But Why?" a featured article on RecruitingBlogs https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ghostedbut-why-adam-karpiak
For more about me or my firm, please visit www.karpiakconsulting.com or www.linkedin.com/in/akarpiak I am always looking to network with good professionals that share my values in recruiting, so shoot me an invite if you agree with me!
You can find job postings, as well as loads of content on Karpiak Consulting's Facebook page www.fb.com/karpiakconsulting Please "like" or follow the page to be kept up to date on all of new content daily. I re-post articles of interest I find online regarding recruiting & public accounting, and I also post emails & messages I get (redacted of course) regarding recruiting that I think are of interest, including stories from candidates about other recruiters doing bad/confusing things.
I am also featuring a Candidate Of The Day. If you are interested in being featured in one of my daily LinkedIn posts, shoot me the following info in an email (I've created a Gmail account to stay organized: DailyJobCandidate@gmail.com) with the subject: Daily Job Candidate. Tell me your desired position, industry, and geographic area. This way my entire network of recruiters and networkers could see if they could help out the candidate in any way with leads or point them to someone else that might be able to help. Just by reading the post, people in my network would be able to:
1) Reach out to the candidate directly if they think they can help them.
2) Like or share the post with their network, in the hopes someone in their network can help the candidate.
3) Tag a person in the post's comments that may be able to help the person.