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What Headhunters and Company Recruiters Won’t Tell You

The Job Dog often has clients who want to get beyond the cliché feedback from a recruiter that other candidates were more qualified. Here is what you need to know about the truth behind that statement.

The Facts

The recruiter does not have the time—or, many times, the willingness—to give you honest and candid feedback. Even if a recruiter tells you something, is it everything? Is it what you truly need to hear? Is it completely honest? Likely not.

  1. It is not the recruiter’s job to be candid with you; in fact, there are potential legal repercussions if she says much of anything.
  2. Do not believe the reason you did not get the job is always based upon qualifications; there may be other factors.

The Need

You need honest feedback. If you are overlooking a single factor or issue that is keeping you (and may continue to keep you) from getting job offers, you need someone to tell you what that is. You need someone to give you real feedback about why you were not selected.

Who

Someone 1) whose expertise you value and 2) who will give you candid answers. Now is the time to meet with that individual—before you lose another job offer. When selecting a mentor/coach who can do this for you, consider two factors: his/her expertise and his/her willingness to be candid.

  1. Expertise – Select a person who has specific knowledge or expertise. This will be someone you respect. When he/she speaks, you are confident the advice is valuable. You take that advice to heart. You don’t have to agree, but you should listen and accept her thoughts as being likely more right than you may want to initially accept.
  1. Candor – Also, consider if this person is likely to care enough about you and your situation that he will be honest. He needs enough of a caring attitude, even tough love, that he will tell you what is on his mind even though he knows it may be difficult to hear.

Considering an outside perspective about your career history and how you present yourself prevents you from overlooking what may be obvious to others. Your mind has an infinite capacity to deceive itself. For example:

  • You are repeating the same patterns and expecting different results.
  • You are remaining within your comfort zone, yet want to achieve maximized career-transition results.

Feedback, at this stage of the process, is vitally important to ensure you don’t fumble a series of interviews because you repeated the same mistakes.

The Nature of Candid Feedback:
“He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.”
– Abraham Lincoln

Considering an outside perspective about your career history and how you present yourself prevents you from overlooking what may be obvious to others. Your mind has an infinite capacity to deceive itself. For example:

  • You are repeating the same patterns and expecting different results.
  • You are remaining within your comfort zone, yet want to achieve maximized career-transition results.

Feedback, at this stage of the process, is vitally important to ensure you don’t fumble a series of interviews because you repeated the same mistakes.

On the Positive

Our clients often overlook or minimize the skills or potential that others see in them. “You are great at …” or “I’d hire you because …” are affirming facts that you also need to hear. Yes, your feedback provider should also be helping you identify and reinforce statements about what you do well.

Therefore, feedback can be pro or con, positive or negative, or even conveyed as “do more of … and less of …” Feedback from a competent and candid person you trust moves you from where you are to where you can be.

Recommended Reading

Time-tested, trusted advice for job hunters and career changers.

–The Job Dog

 

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2019

 Checkpoint

Seek out a mentor or coach. Schedule routine time together. The sooner you do so, the sooner you will be able to use this feedback to address those issues that may be affecting your job search. Be certain to give that person permission to tell you the truth. Don’t argue or be defensive. Consider the following letter used by a client to begin soliciting feedback:

Pete,

 

I hope this note finds you well and off to a great year. I would like to schedule some time with you. I am seriously evaluating my future career options and would benefit from advice from a person like you who knows me, will be honest with me and whom I respect.

 

I am particularly interested in your views on personal and career development that may be a challenge for me and that I may be overlooking.  

 

I know you are extremely busy, and I will remain as flexible as needed to accommodate whatever schedule works for you. I very much appreciate your consideration of this request and look forward to hearing from you. 

 

Best Regards, Alex

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