23053729I was doing my usual morning reading of digests from a forum I frequently read but hardly participate in.  It’s a recruiter’s forum.  For the most part, the messages I see are utter nonsense, but every once in a while, I come across some sage advice.  You see, in my opinion, the forum is over run by people who have too much time on their hands and think way too highly of themselves and look down on anyone who dares disagree with them.  But that’s neither here nor there.  Like I said, it’s my OPINION. Again, there are a few good people on there and every once and a while I get some good advice. 

This morning I had my fill of the rhetoric and decided to blog about it. The topic that caught my eye was Pet Peeves of Recruiters.  The usual was expressed (typos on resumes, lack of communication, unqualified candidates, etc, etc). But one particular poster really upset me.  He gave an instance of a VP level person applying for a customer service position and getting huffy when he was not considered.  He then went on to say that he couldn’t understand the man’s attitude and what recruiter in their right mind would hire or take serious a VP level person for such a position.  Ladies, I give you this to think about.  Longstanding companies on Wall Street have been obliterated and I have a feeling that before it’s said and done, there will be many more.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  There are a whole lot of people out there who are suddenly unemployed through no fault of their own and they need to feed their families. There are MBAs out there who couldn’t find a job BEFORE this crisis and many more who really can’t find a job now.  Not to mention, perhaps some people are looking to change careers and realize they have to start from ground zero. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Recruiter.  A damned good one too.  But I am also human and very cognizant of the world around me. There are a lot of folks out there who have no choice but to go for jobs they know they are overqualified for.  Does this give recruiters the right to mock them or dismiss them because they are deemed overqualified?  No.  But it happens a whole lot.  Now let’s look at the other end of this spectrum.  What about the recruiters or hiring managers who want people with all of this outstanding expertise but want to pay them way below what they are worth?  In a sense, isn’t that the same thing?  So why is it a crime when people make a conscious decision to go for something lower by their OWN choice, but not when a company decides to get over and try to get away with hiring them for less pay?  See where I’m going with this? They, recruiters, don’t get to arbitrarily decide to disrespect you or judge you based upon your circumstances.

Listen, with so many people on the market, you have got to brand yourself to stand out from the next person. You have to take charge of how you present yourself and how people perceive you.  You’ve got to exhibit the best you possible.  It has swung to a hirer’s market and it is ultra competitive. There are more people to choose from and companies can afford to leisurely watch the battle royal and pick from the remains of the survivors.  That gives them an inflated sense of worth and not to mention ego.

Do what you must to command respect. Don’t let anyone make you feel less than just because you are seeking “alternative” types of work. There is nothing wrong with it.  In my opinion, it shows you have strong work ethic and will do whatever it takes to make things work, even if it means taking a job that’s less than.  The next time a recruiter tries to brush you off, respectfully as why.  Have them explain to you why they think you won’t work. Don’t get an attitude, but a healthy discussion should assure them that you are indeed serious and that you have truly given this some thought. “Because I have to feed my family” may be the real answer, but you can’t use that and expect it to float.  Sit down when you have a quiet moment and write out your thoughts about why you are going down that road. Be honest with yourself.  Make sure you list all the pros and cons (preferably more pros than cons). Remember what they say, the best defense is a good offense. 

Good luck.

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham