What Are the 3 Most Important Things I Learned When I Was a Recruiter?

To see where you’re heading, it’s always a good idea to take a look back from where you came.

From 1999 to 2003, I was a recruiter with Robert Half. It became the foundation of the work I do today as a professional resume writer, career coach and interview coach.

I originally went to Robert Half as a candidate, looking for a job as an Accounting Manager. As the .com market was hot at the time, I was hired as a recruiter instead. My job was placing finance and accounting professionals into direct-hire permanent positions. I learned so much from this job.

So, what were the primary things that I learned?

1) Why should someone hire you instead of someone else?

My job was to find four or five candidates I knew could do the job, but the hiring manager would only hire one.

I needed to learn how to talk with hiring managers in a neutral way for each candidate. “Consider Nancy because of this; consider John because of that.”

This strategy is actually at the core of what I do now. Everyone brings something special and unique to their work. My role as a resume writer and a coach is to bring that to the surface. The person looking for a job needs to have confidence in themselves, and the managers need to know they are making a smart hiring decision. You can build all of that into a resume and the interview process


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2) I understand the hiring process.

Back then, I worked in an open office with 4 or 5 of us in one pod. I could overhear everyone’s conversations with both the hiring managers and the recruiters. So, while I was learning on my own, I was also getting the advantage of “sitting” with more experienced recruiters. We did what “full-cycle recruiting,” meaning that I was involved with all aspects of the placement from beginning to the end.

3) Everything is negotiable.

I always thought recruiters only focused on salary. But that is not true. At different times, I negotiated signing bonuses, benefits, vacation time, job titles, even what time of day the person was expected to be at their desk. A job posting always is a wish list, and people do get jobs even if they don’t meet all the stated requirements.

I am always surprised that there are not many ex-recruiters who are now resume writers and coaches. It was a natural transition for me! I know my experience gives me a clear understanding of the ways I can help people get jobs.

I have been doing this now for more than 20 years, and it never gets old when someone tells me they got the job! If you want to see how I can put my recruiter experience to work for you, please click here to schedule an appointment. There is NO CHARGE for a consultation!

I look forward to speaking with you!