Let’s talk about dating. Some of you are single, and some of you are married, but all of us have gone on a date at some point in our lives. I can remember several instances where I was anxious to get out of that dinner/date because it wasn’t a match and I knew early on in the evening. I know you can relate.

It may have been their political views, their halitosis, or countless stories about their troubled teenagers. Whatever case, something was said that caused you to decide that you needed to get out of the current situation and get home to watch the premier of your favorite television show. 

Ok. Now let’s talk about candidates. The conversation starts out great. You talk about your role, the job description, and how you want to get to know them a little better. Then it happens…they open their mouths! Then you start to feel yourself fade and look at your watch. Your mind starts to wander and think about the big barbeque you have planned for the weekend. 

What has just happened is TMI, or better known as Too Much Information. If you are a recruiter or HR professional, you can relate. If you are a candidate, here are a few pointers. You can take them or leave them, but it may help you get that job that you have been waiting. 

Recruiting is exactly like dating. In the famous words of Eminem “If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it or let it slip?”

  1. Clean up your social presence today! In today’s time everything is researchable. This includes any posts or pictures on Facebook that are visible to the public eye, your You Tube views, Twitter comments, Linkedin profile, blogs or comments you have posted, or anywhere else you may be mentioned on the internet. You really want to show you have high moral character and integrity and you are current with today’s technology.
  2. Research the company and the position you are interviewing. If a recruiter calls you and catches you off guard, ask a ton of questions to find out more about what their company does and what they are trying to accomplish. Don’t talk about skills that don’t have relevance to the job they are looking to fill, or in that matter, what skills would apply to any roles that they may have in the future. Your skills may be valuable, but a recruiter & candidates time is precious, so get to the point.
  3. The salary question is always the dreaded question. Feel free to tell them what you made at your last role or ask what the range is, but don’t shoot yourself in the foot by giving an unrealistic number. Know the market well enough to know what the kinds of positions you are seeking are paying. Ask colleagues or do research if you don’t know that number.
  4. Be in an environment where you can talk and give your full attention.  If you are currently employed and could get distracted easily, ask to set up a time where you can talk.  We all have lives and recruiters understand that!
  5. Always, always have your references on the tip of your tongue.  Don’t ever burn bridges with companies. If your employment with a company was short, be sure you can back why that happened. 

Views: 1213

Comment by Andrew Hanneman on August 15, 2012 at 12:10pm

Love the reference to Eminem, never thought I would see him referenced in an HR article other than what not to listen too at work.  I agree, that sometimes candidates forget that we are a potential employer....I'm amazed at how many tell me all the details about how and why they were fired.  And them some neglet or outright lie.  Somewhere in the middle works for me.

Comment by Tim Spagnola on August 16, 2012 at 8:05am

Great post and agree w/. Andrew!

Comment by stephenbooth.uk on August 16, 2012 at 9:57am

I find pipl.com a very useful way to scare colleagues.  They think a potential employer won't be able to find their Facebook profile or that comment they wrote 4 years ago.  Guess again!  A harder problem to crack is those people who think that a potential employer won't bother to find their Facebook profile or that comment they wrote 4 years ago.  Sometimes people need to learn a lesson the hard way to get it, sometimes more than once.  Worst case is a former colleague who thought that a potential employer shuldn't be going looking for his Facebook profile or that comment he wrote 4 years ago about wanting to assault his boss.  That was a difficult conversation to have.

On the other hand I would expect a candidate to have an online profile.  Being in IT I'd expect to see posts on community support forums asking questions and answering the questions of others.  Personally I always try to spend at least some time each week reading and commenting on online articles relevant to my work and business in general.

One other, related, problem I've come across is other people posting things about me (or supposed to be about me, one person I used to know finds it funny to post pictures scanned from 'top shelf' publications on Facebook and then tag the picture with his friends' names).  Fortunately when they're found they're quite easy to fix, usually.  Another problem is people who happen to have the same name as me posting things that a third party thinks I've posted.  A couple of times I've been called into meetings and told to take down something that a manager thinks I posted (actually it was someone who just happens to have the same name as me) and relates to a situation at work (it actually relates to a situation at the other Stephen's work).  I remember once I was asked how I knew about a planned restructure, my response was "I didn't, till you told me just now."


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