Seattle Recruiter, Dispelling the Myths

If there’s one thing I wish I had known about job searching before doing it—it’s how the recruiting process actually works. Yes, we all know the basics: A recruiter’s job is to find the right person for a specific position. So when one contacts you, he or she thinks you’re the rightperson. Right?

Yes. But not quite, at least not yet. It’s a little more complicated than that. As a former recruiter, I’ve seen the other side and I know a few things now. For example, that initial call you get—the one that happens even before your actual interview with the hiring manager—is really nothing to freak out about. It’s more or less a formality, a pre-step before the interview process if you will.

So, for you own sake, here are three myths about those initial phone calls that need to be debunked, ASAP. Especially if you’ve recently been contacted by a recruiter and you have no idea what to expect.

Myth #1: You Should Drop Everything for a Recruiter

When you’re in the middle of a job search, any phone call from an unfamiliar number is pretty thrilling. They’re so thrilling, they can often feel like the most important call ever. And because they seem so important, it’s tempting to drop everything you’re doing so you don’t miss them. The only problem? These calls are not interviews. Not even close.

When you get one of these preliminary calls, it means you’re on that recruiter’s shortlist of contenders. Which is really good news. In fact, I used to think it was such good news, I needed to reschedule meetings to answer the phone. Or take longer than usual “lunch breaks.” What I eventually learned after a while was simple—I didn’t need to be nearly this flexible. The recruiter’s only goal on these initial phone calls is to find a time for the two of you to speak more formally. That’s it. So, if you need let one of these go straight to voicemail, there’s no need to stress over it.

Myth #2: You Should Sell Yourself as Hard as Possible

Here’s a mistake I always made as a job seeker. Even when a hiring person made it clear he or she was just reaching out to find some time to talk more formally about a role, I did everything in my power to make it clear I was awesome on that phone call. In hindsight, this was probably the most annoying thing I could’ve done.

When I was interviewing people for a living, I had a game plan for every actual conversation I conducted. This included a script with questions I needed to ask before we could make a hiring decision. If I was just reaching out to someone to chat about the logistics of setting up a formal interview, I had no script. And no real questions to ask. I was literally trying to find out a few more details before connecting you with the hiring manager.

So when someone calls you just to set up an initial meeting, don’t feel the pressure to sell yourself. Save your time and energy for wowing the interviewers when you’re actually being asked questions about why you’re awesome. And if you’re in doubt as to what step of the process this is, let the interviewer lead.

Myth #3: You Should Prepare for a Job Offer

I used to think recruiters had the power to hire the best people as soon as they got them on the phone. “There’s no point of bringing me in for interviews if they think I’m right for the job,” I thought to myself. “I need to really impress this person over the phone so she’ll offer me a million dollars per year to come work for her.” While that all probably makes sense, especially if you know you’d be great at a particular gig, that decision is not going to happen in a first call with a recruiter. Which is actually good news for you.

The truth is that whoever is reaching out to you for the first time doesn’t wield all the power to make a hiring decision right away. He or she’s simply trying to figure out if you’re interested in the job you applied for. Yes, you can still make a great first impression over the phone, but all you’ll leave with is a timeslot on that hiring manager’s calendar. Bummer? Absolutely. But the good news is that if you don’t answer a question the way you would have liked to on the first phone call, it really has no bearing on whether or not you’ll ultimately get the job.
The job search is a really stressful time. There’s nothing groundbreaking about that statement, but when you’re in the middle of one, it’s easy to blow a lot of things out of proportion. Especially when it comes to handling those first phone calls with recruiters—who really are just trying to find an interview time that works for you. So, before you panic about this step of the process, take a deep breath. Your experience and talents will speak far greater volumes than any “mistake” you could make on a first call with a recruiter.

I want to land a real job in sales. Where should I start?

If you want to be a salesperson and don’t want to get wrapped up in direct sales, the best option is to find something you know a lot about and try to get a job selling it at the entry level. If you understand financial products, apply at banks. If you know cars, apply at car dealerships. If you know jewelry, apply at jewelers. Anywhere that sells something you understand and offers commission is a great starting point.

Once you have a proven track record, even if it’s just selling inexpensive used cars at a local lot or basic banking products at a local branch, you can use that as a jumping-off point for scoring higher-commission sales jobs. Learning to utilize social media marketing, online research and customer relationship management systems can also boost your marketability in the legitimate sales world.

Come see us at Career Paths NW, we specialize in placing people in Sales Jobs, call today or email us your resume.

Do you have a plan for your career?

Have a Job Target You Believe In

Be clear on what you want, why you want it and what qualifies you… Without clarity from the very start, virtually every stage that follows will be based on little more than a hunch — and that is an extremely fragile foundation for navigating a dynamic job search. You begin by engaging in some form of assessment. It could involve taking a standardized assessment instrument, keeping a journal or talking with people whose advice and feedback you value — friends, family, or a career coach. The goal is to achieve self-awareness in the form of a career target. The next, and equally important, step is a reality check. Here is where you determine that the goal you selected makes sense. Is it appropriate for you and is it attainable?

Create a Plan

Identify a few key features, such as, why is finding a new job important to you? What is your ideal time-frame for finding a new job? …What are types of companies you’d like to work for? When will you perform job searches — is there a day of the week that you will meet for coffee with your networking connections? What’s your timeline for updating your resume and cover letter? Post the plan somewhere you will see it and put important dates on your calendar. Most people don’t plan their search; they simply go about it in a haphazard fashion, so you’ll be ahead of the game. If you plan your search, you’re committing to a new job and will be more likely to find the job that you love.”

Have you set goals for your career?

Choosing your career is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, one with far-reaching implications for your happiness, health, and financial status. It can be easier to do when you set career goals and put a plan in place to grow your career.

Many people aren’t sure how to take charge of this process, letting chance factors such as a convenient job offer from a friend determine the focus of their career. As a result, the majority of workers are less than satisfied with their employment. Surveys indicate that as many as two-thirds of all employees are unhappy in their jobs.

Although there are no guarantees, taking a deliberate approach to the career planning process can expose you to more options and increase the probability that you will find sustainable, and enjoyable, employment.

At Career Paths NW we specialize in not just finding you a job but setting you up with a career that will set you up on a proven path to success. The process for setting career goals in a thoughtful manner can be broken down into the following steps.

  1. Begin with a Self Assessment
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Research
  4. Final Steps