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You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover: What I Learned in My First Few Months of Recruiting


[ – From the Desk of Jess, Rookie Recruiter]

It’s been 3 months since I started working as a full-time recruiter and I must say it’s a different world than what I had imagined. One big take away that I’ve have learned so far is that you can’t judge a person by a single profile, be it their resume, their LinkedIn profile, or other social media accounts. Someone who looks amazing ‘on paper’ can turn out to be totally different from how they portray themselves. Candidates can give us resumes that paint an entirely different portrait than their LinkedIn profiles, i.e., different start and end dates for previous jobs, or different work history altogether. While I understand that people will cater their resumes to the job they’re applying for, there’s a difference between strategic inclusions and omissions and flat-out misrepresentations. Candidates can be deceitful, unpleasant, arrogant… or professional, polite, credible, and incredible. I have had some fantastic interviews with fascinating people and some challenging interviews with less-than-ideal candidates. I’ve had experiences where the 1st and 2nd interview can be totally different with the same candidate! I now understand why 2nd interviews are so important. One 30-minute interview is not enough time to get to know a candidate. 2nd interviews offer an opportunity to delve deeper, to better understand the candidate’s experience, skillset, and attitude, and what they’re looking for in a job and employer. 2nd interviews also help uncover dishonesty or misrepresentations – if the information, motivation, expectations, and attitudes presented in the 1st interview doesn’t align with that offered in the 2nd interview, it’s not a good sign. I try to learn from every experience and, where possible, offer candidates advice as to how they can improve their approach job-hunting and interviewing.

Key pieces of advice I would offer to all candidates:

  1. Be honest on your resume and LinkedIn profile, and make sure they match. The start and end dates at a given job, the job titles, and the company names should be the same. Discrepancies raise red flags. Also, check your grammar! Employers view the care and attention to detail with which you prepare your resume and online professional profile as an indication of that which you’ll bring to the job if they hire you.

  2. Amp up the enthusiasm! This is your life, your career, get excited for changes and new opportunities! I know not everyone is equally upbeat and bubbly – but if you don’t come across engaged and motivated, well then it seems like you don’t really care or want the position.

  3. Ask lots of questions about the role. I always send the candidate a job description before our phone call, and I can’t tell you how many times they still get confused as to what the job really is. If you’re confused, speak up! We don’t want to connect candidates with jobs that aren’t the right fit for them, but to know if a job is the right fit, you need to understand what it is. An interview is not a one-way interrogation, it’s a conversation. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

The other big take-away from my first 4 weeks as a recruiter: getting to know candidates is a wonderful experience. I love getting to know someone and their experiences. How did they get into real estate? What do they like and dislike about their current role? What keeps them there? Where do they want to be? It’s very satisfying working with good candidates to understand their career trajectory, their aspirations, their passions, and what drives them. It’s even more satisfying to help passionate, driven candidates move from jobs where they feel stuck and unhappy into challenging and rewarding new positions. Their excitement when the interview process culminates in an employment offer is invigorating, uplifting and infectious – it’s what makes me come to work every morning and keep recruiting.

I love what I do, and I can’t wait to see how the next quarter goes.

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