Posts tagged: Great Recruiters

How To Handle High Turnover In An Interview?

Question: I have some turnover in my background that makes me look like a job hopper. Most of the turnover resulted from the company either closing or moving, not me leaving. Do you have any recommendations on how to handle this when asked about it in an interview?

Yes, don’t wait to be asked. Regardless of your negative situation you should always address it head on. Bring the issue up before you are even asked. In your case I would say, “From my resume it appears as if I have a lot of turnover. I would like to clarify this as in most cases the company either closed or moved. I never really left the positions.” Candidates often think that because the interviewer didn’t bring up the issue that they are comfortable with it. This just isn’t correct. It is always better to make it appear that you have nothing to hide. I refer to this as making a preemptive strike. This is especially true if you have been let go. It is better to discuss the issue on your terms and get your point of view out, than to let the interviewer jump to an incorrect conclusion.

You can review our Candidate Job Search Workbook for FREE (just pay $5 shipping). You can review the questions, read the multiple chapters on interviewing, and even learn the ten must ask questions in an interview. CLICK HERE to learn how to get your workbook sent to you for just the cost of shipping.

Download our sample cover letter. This will help make sure your resume aligns with the position, and recruiters appreciate this style. It is free.  CLICK HERE to get yours.

Finally our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group is free to join and all are welcome. This group has over 3,800 members and a wealth of articles, job postings and discussions to help you. CLICK HERE to join the group.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. If this was helpful, please pass the link on so others may benefit also.

Brad Remilllard

7 Reasons Recruiters Screen You Out

I know from all of the comments I receive, the tweets on Twitter, and the comments on blogs and articles about recruiters, that one of the biggest frustrations with candidates is about recruiters. On a daily basis I read, how mean recruiters are, how people claim to be qualified for a job don’t get past the recruiter, how people with years of experience  get weeded out by recruiters, and of course, the black hole resumes go in when candidates send them to recruiters.

First, let me clarify that I’m not trying to justify bad behavior by some and maybe even many recruiters. Every profession has them, some more than others. There are even bad doctors, engineers, pastors and so on. The purpose of this article is to clarify for candidates what recruiters do and why, to help reduce the frustration. I hope by understanding, although maybe not accepting, it will make it easier on candidates.

Recruiters don’t really care if you are qualified, have years of experience, or have all the right skills, knowledge, and certifications. Obviously these are required. You must recognize that many candidates have these for every job. Recruiters don’t get paid  for finding candidates with these traits. I can tell you as a recruiter for 30 years, and one that still makes a living as a recruiter, how much I wish this was the case. If  it were the case, I would be writing this article sitting on my yacht, instead of my patio.  We get paid only for finding hireable candidates.

I learned this in my first year as a recruiter. I would ask the client if they liked the candidate and many times they would say they did. I would ask if they thought the candidate was qualified and they would reply, “Yes.” I would even ask if they thought the candidate could do the job and they would reply, “YES.”  These were all good questions that lead me to believe the candidate was going to get hired, only to find out someone else got the job other than my candidate. Why? How could this be? I was just as mad, frustrated, and upset as the candidate.

The answer was simple. One day I was venting my frustration to a much more experienced recruiter who informed me that I wasn’t asking the right question. He said those are all nice things to know, but those aren’t what I care about. The question I should have asked was, “Is the candidate hireable?” Now that question has a completely different meaning. It is what I and the candidate really wanted to know.

So what is hireable? Well, as one justice on the Supreme Court once said, “I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.”  So much of what is “hireable” is subjective by both the recruiter and the hiring team and is hard to define. The following is my best shot at trying to define it. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. Again, it is designed to simply help candidates better understand, with the idea that understanding helps reduce frustration.

  1. The candidate has all of the requirements to do the job. This is a given.
  2. The candidate is neither under qualified or over qualified. My experience is that candidates accept the under qualified, but rarely accept the concept of over qualified. Either one makes a candidate not hireable.
  3. Presentation. I have written extensively about this. Recruiters care a great deal about how you present yourself. I don’t just mean physical presentation. I mean the complete package of presentation skills. Your presentation skills start the minute you answer the phone for the first time.
  4. Communication skills must be appropriate for the position. This just happened to me recently. I was doing a search for a communications person in a PR firm. One candidate had all of the right qualifications on paper, a good background, good schools, but constantly used the word “like” in just about every sentence. One would expect a person in PR communications to know better. Sorry, but not hireable from my point of view. My client would question my judgment if I recommended them for a communications position and they couldn’t communicate properly.
  5. Style is important. Granted this is very subjective, but this is why companies are willing to pay recruiters thousands of dollars. They trust our judgment on this issue. If the style of the candidate doesn’t match that of the hiring manager then the candidate may not be hireable. It doesn’t mean that  the person isn’t a good person, it just means that they aren’t the right person.
  6. Fit is another highly subjective characteristic that determines hireability. If your personality isn’t going to meld with that of the hiring manager or the company’s culture, then you aren’t hireable for this position. Not everyone is the right fit. I interview candidates all the time that tell me they left the company because it just wasn’t a good fit. I know recruiters do their best to make sure this is aligned. Nobody benefits if the candidate doesn’t work out because they can’t adjust to the company.
  7. Listening and answering the questions. This is part of communication, but needs special attention. Every recruiter is assessing how you listen and answer their questions. Recruiters know this is an indication of how you will perform in front of the client. This is the point at which most candidates eliminate themselves. They don’t answer the question asked, their answers are so vague it is impossible to know what THEY did, or they ramble on in hopes of covering everything. As a result, I would not only be embarrassed to present you to my client, but worse, my client would be upset with me for doing so.

From my position as an executive recruiter, these are just the top seven things a candidate must excel at to be hireable.

Is your resume not getting noticed by recruiters? Try using this sample cover letter. Candidates tell us this cover letter has tripled their response rate from recruiters. CLICK HERE to download this sample cover letter.

For a lot more on this topic, and other job search related topics, join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. It is a great resource for career experts and discussion. It is free. CLICK HERE to join.

Is your job search going as well as  you thought it would? Is it moving slower  than you expected? If it is, then download our FREE 8-Point Job Search Assessment Scorecard. It will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your job search. CLICK HERE to download.

If you liked this article, please share it with others on your Facebook page, other LinkedIn groups, or with your contacts.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.


Why Do Most Recruiter Interviews Set You Up for Failure?

Why do most recruiter interviews set you up for failure with hiring managers?

Most 3rd-party recruiter interviews set you up for failure with hiring managers.

Before the entire recruiting profession jumps down my throat over that statement – let’s examine this statement in a little more depth.

Most (there are a few exceptions) recruiters conduct “box-checking” interviews. These sound like “Tell me about yourself.” “Have you done this?” “Do you have this skill?” Do you have this knowledge?” “What’s your biggest weakness?” and all the other 20 standard, stupid, inane canned interview questions that have been asked since the beginning of time.

We also published a couple of articles on some of the “other” reasons for shooting yourself in the foot when interviewing. Two of these articles you might be interested in are:

Candidate Interviewing Mistakes

You Can’t Interview Yourself Out of Wet Paper Bag

Most executives and managers tell me that the vast majority of the interviews they’ve gone through with 3rd-party recruiters are a joke. The believe that these sessions are nothing more than “meet-n-greets” where the recruiter is trying to determine if the candidate will embarrass them on the interview.

None of the traditional interview questions get at real success and the ability to translate prior accomplishments to predicting future performance. Very few recruiters have ever been trained, coached, or learned how to measure true performance – or predict future performance based on past success.

So, let’s follow this process logically. The recruiter conducts an interview for their client by box-checking the job description. The candidate is now lulled into the belief that this will be a similar interview with the client.


Most sophisticated hiring executives/managers are going to talk about outcomes and results – the candidate is stunned to be talking about outcomes, results, deliverables, accomplishments, and achievements. The candidate is at a loss to provide 2-3 substantive examples with quantifiable details for each claim.

The candidate was expecting the traditional 20 stupid, inane, canned interview questions.

The recruiter did NOTHING to prepare the candidate for a more rigorous interview.

The best recruiters conduct more in-depth interviews of candidates than their clients will ever conduct. The best recruiters probe deeply and will continue digging until they get the details. The best recruiters triangulate your responses to validate, verify, and vet your claims.

These interviews act as preparation for the real thing.

Box-checking,  traditional, stupid, inane, and canned interview questions do you a disservice by lulling you into a false sense of security about the interview questions that will be asked by strong hiring managers and executives.

So, let’s take this to the logical conclusion:

  • Assume most recruiters will not ask tough and insightful questions.
  • Assume most recruiters cannot prepare you for an interview with a strong hiring manager or executive.
  • Assume most recruiters don’t really understand how to probe accomplishments, achievements, outcomes, and results.
  • Assume most recruiters don’t understand how to predict future performance.

What can you do to get ready for a “real” interview?

Here are a few proactive ideas:

    • Read the free popular chapter in our book, “This is NOT the Position I Accepted” titled “Winning the Phone Interview”
    • Practice your responses over and over – imagine this is the most important presentation of your life. Practice your responses in front of the mirror, with family, the dog, your cat, friends, neighbors, associates
    • Practice some more
    • Read item number 1 – master our technique of D.R.E.S.S.U.P. for the phone interview
    • Practice some more
    • Frame all your responses with as much quantifiable detail as possible, names, starting amounts, ending amounts, budget, savings, number of people on the project, length of time, etc
    • Read everything you can on how to interview more effectively
    • Practice some more

Don’t blow the interview just because a recruiter didn’t ask you the correct questions. Be proactive in preparing yourself for a more rigorous interview.

Download our FREE popular Phone Interviewing Chapter “Win the Phone Interview”

What’s your experience in working with recruiters?

What percentage of all the recruiters you’ve met – made you work really hard during the interview? How many of those sessions were “meet-n-greets?”


P.S. Don’t forget to join our LinkedIn Discussion Group where phone interviewing, recruiters, and everything else job search related is thoroughly discussed.

Most Recruiters are Wasting Your Time

Do you have a "tight" relationship with your recruiter OR are they simply wasting your time?

How do You Find a Recruiter that will work with you?

Networking – Networking – Networking (more on this subject later)

Many candidates assume the recruiter is “working with them” if one of the following scenarios take place:

  1. The recruiter accepted your resume
  2. The recruiter called you back on the phone and interviewed you
  3. The recruiter asked you into their office for a formal interview
  4. The recruiter sent you out to interview with one of their clients

Is the recruiter working with you – helping to identify great opportunities, thinking of you first when an appropriate search tumbles across their desktop, giving you ideas/suggestions/recommendations on how to improve your job search/career management?

Absolutely NOT!

You are nothing more than a piece of paper at this point. Perhaps, your “filler” because their client needed to see two other candidates before making a decision on the real candidate they wanted to hire.

There is no relationship – no chemistry – no mutual support.

AND the worst thing is that the recruiter you’ve called or sent a resume to could be the WRONG recruiter. This is THE primary reason most candidate-recruiter relationships never develop – you’re talking to the WRONG recruiter.

How do you find the right recruiter?

The right recruiter is someone who consistently makes placements of candidates just like you – frequently – successfully – consistently – regularly.

NOT occasionally – infrequently – sometimes – maybeonce in a while.

Have you ever asked a recruiter how many times in the last year, quarter, month (take your pick) did they place someone in a job just like the one you’re seeking?

You would probably be shocked by the answer you hear.

How do you find recruiters who frequently place talent just like you?

Below are a few key steps you can follow to identify appropriate recruiters and begin to develop a “tight” relationship. How could we define a “tight” relationship – it’s one where the recruiter passionately pitches you to their client, you’re the one they think of first on a search assignment, and when the hiring manager rejects you – they fight to the end to convince the hiring manager to meet you.

Can you claim to have this type of “tight” relationship with any recruiters? Probably NOT! Perhaps, the reason is that you’re spending time trying to develop a relationship with the wrong recruiters.

The STEPS to Recruiter Nirvana:

  1. Ask your peers which recruiters they are working with
  2. Ask hiring managers/executives which recruiters they use to fill jobs like the one you want
  3. Look in recruiter directories on the internet for which recruiters specialize in your function, industry, or geography
  4. Read the blogs of the very best recruiters (unbiased impression coming up here  – like Brad and I)
  5. Which recruiters are ranked in the top 50/100 on twitter and other lists?

Let me throw out a couple of examples:

You live in Los Angeles and are seeking a Chief Financial Officer Position. Who are the top 3 executive search firms who specialize in financial management search in the LA metro area? If you don’t know this answer, you’re flying blind.

You live in Boston and are seeking a Vice President of Marketing Position for a Consumer Products Company with global operations. Who are the top 3 search firms in the US focusing on International Vice Presidents of Marketing for Major Consumer Product Companies? Again, if you don’t know this answer,  you’re flying blind and probably have been wasting your time with other recruiters.

Is it time in your job search to leverage yourself and start spending time with the “right” recruiters so that you can develop a “tight” relationship?


PS Download our FREE Job Search Self-Assessment to determine if you are effectively leveraging recruiters and other key elements of your job search.

Have You Fed Your Recruiter Today?

It is time to feed your recruiter and nurture the relationship?

Recruiters need nourishment too.

Like the little fake babies they give to middle-school/junior high students to carry around, feed, clean, and nurture for a few days – if you don’t take care of it – bad things happen.

Your recruiter relationship is exactly the same!

Brad recently wrote an excellent blog post about why you don’t get your calls returned from recruiters – here is another key reason (huge hot button for me):

Recruiters need nourishment too.

What have you done to nurture, feed, support, and provide love to your recruiter relationship?

If you’re not going to go out of your way to build and sustain a relationship with a recruiter, why should they invest the time and energy with you?

If I get a CFO search, the first group I look at to see if there is a qualified candidate is my inner circle of deep relationships. I’ll only turn to referrals, cold calls, and other networking strategies if my immediate network doesn’t contain the ideal candidate.

Are you an ideal candidate in any recruiter’s network?

Let’s assume for a moment you’ve been referred to a recruiter that you’ve been trying to build a relationship with for years. Finally, the recruiter takes your your call based on the referral and the relationship starts. Let’s also pretend that at this exact moment, the recruiter does not have an assignment that matches up with your background.

What do you do to ensure your background and capabilities stay in the forefront of the recruiter’s brain? How do you get your name to pop up every single time an appropriate search crosses the recruiter’s desk?

Classic networking techniques is the correct answer.

What do master networkers do to build relationships?

  • Send articles of interest to the recruiter
  • Make appropriate referrals on possible assignments or with potential candidates on other searches
  • Send information about yourself to the recruiter – your latest blog posting, a copy of a particularly insightful article you wrote for a trade journal
  • Offer to grab a cup of coffee together
  • Refer other candidates and hiring managers to the recruiter

I could count on one hand the number of times a candidate has used any of the above tactics with me.

Relationships are not based on sending a piece of paper to a recruiter. If you want your calls returned, it’s time to start developing a deep and meaningful relationship.

I am convinced that one of the major reasons so many executives have been out of work for so long is that they refuse to accept the importance of relationship building in networking. Mass mailing resumes and responding to hundreds of job advertisements is a worthless and useless waste of time.

Is it any wonder why the people in your network are not referring you to great opportunities?

Is it any wonder why you don’t have an abundance of job referrals and leads?

Is it any wonder why most recruiters will not return your call?

Why are you not engaged in relationship building activities? What’s your fear?

I cannot understand why most executive candidates stink at relationship building activities in networking. Hundreds of books have been written on this subject. Numerous blogs are published on the subject. There is an overwhelming number of webinars available in how do build relationships in networking.

Help me to understand the dilemma. Why are most executives who have been out of work for a long time period unwilling to engage in relationship building with recruiters?


photo credit flickr

P.S.: Are you part of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group? If not, your missing one of the most dynamic job search discussion groups on LinkedIn. Get your job search questions answered now from other job seekers, hr professionals, and recruiters.

Don’t Be the Candidate Screened Out by a Recruiter’s First Question

Candidate being REJECTED after the first interview question - Don't let this happen to you

In my last blog post, I described how the best recruiters screen out the vast majority of candidates for their search assignments through one simple question.

Don’t be the one who gets screened out in 30 seconds.

Many times these are great opportunities the recruiters are working on – you’re the perfect candidate for that appropriate position – you definitely do not want to miss out.

What can you do?

I’m going to suggest that there is a simple approach you can use to prepare for interviews, and it mirrors the cover letter strategy.

If the advertisement does not point out precisely what is required in the position, you can make the fair assumption that there are 3-4 primary elements to every senior professional, managerial, and executive position. Putting your comparable accomplishments to each of these core elements of a position in the cover letter, and being ready to address them in the interview is an insurance policy against being screened out prematurely by recruiters.

Let’s run through a few examples:

If you are applying for a CFO/Controller/Director of Finance position in an entrepreneurial to mid-sized non-public company, the primary expectations over the first year will probably include:

1. Process Improvement – reducing the closing process, improving financial reporting, inventory control process changes, order entry processing speed/efficiency.

2. Financial Planning/Analysis/Forecasting – improvements to budgeting, annual planning, cash flow management, strategic planning, monthly analysis, monthly and quarterly projections.

3. Operational Projects – conducting special one-time analysis on leasing equipment, facility optimization, capital investments in equipment, customer profitability analysis, viability of new products, services, markets, analysis of warranty reserves, and cost reduction opportunities.

4. Policies/Procedures/Asset Protection – improving/changing the handling of cash, tracking of fixed assets, credit policies, collection management, purchasing and material management.

If you are applying for a Marketing Manager position at a sub-component manufacturing company, the primary expectations over the first year might include:

1. Marketing/Sales Materials – review and improvement of all collateral material used by the sales team.

2. Business Growth – assessment and recommendation of new markets, products, and services. Launching and managing existing and new services and products.

3. External marketing – branding, positioning, messaging, advertising, and trade shows to increase awareness and recognition in marketing to OEM manufacturers.

4. Lead generation for the sales function – database marketing, trade offers, channel management, website, lead management tools.

Tell us what the 3-4 primary success factors are in your functional role for the type of industry/type of company that you are focusing your job search on.

We’d like to see how many job seekers understand the critical components of being successful for the type of position they are seeking.

Now let’s jump back to the first interview question a recruiter poses to you in the initial phone call:

My client’s closing process takes too long. They need this individual to reduce by 50% the time it takes to close their books on a monthly basis.

Amazing. Astounding. The recruiter is blown away. You’ve got 2-3 great examples of where you solved similar/comparable process problems/obstacles.

Let’s try another one:

My client is looking at expanding their regional electro-optical sub-component business nationally. Do you have 2-3 comparable examples you could share about moving a company into different markets against entrenched competition?

Amazing. Astounding. Once again the recruiter is blown away by the 2-3 examples you’ve shared about successful marketing efforts to move your prior companies into new markets.

The recruiter is doing their job asking the tough questions based on client expectations of success. A little preparation and understanding of what the most common obstacles/problems/opportunities someone in a specific role is going to face will allow you to ace the vast majority of “appropriate” interviews.

Keep in mind that if your background is primarily in marketing management and you’ve done very little in sales management, I’m probably going to quickly screen you as inappropriate for this executive search for a sales management job. If you’re essentially a channel marketing director, I’m probably going to quickly exclude you from consideration for the marketing role in my client’s direct sales model.

The key word is “appropriate”.

One of the greatest frustrations we hear from employers/recruiters is that the vast majority of candidates from whom the receive resumes/calls ARE NOT APPROPRIATE” for their openings on a very basic level – this brings us back to a previous blog posting where I made the outrageous suggestion to stop shot-gunning your resume to jobs that are totally inappropriate and focus your search efforts on “appropriate jobs”.

The shot-gun approach to responding to job advertisements/recruiter job announcements is a complete waste of time. Okay – a miniscule number of candidates will occasionally get lucky – after all – even a blind squirrel will get a nut sometimes. However, do you want to base your job search on “luck” or on a systematic – methodical – structured approach validated as generating consistent results?

You make the choice! If you’re not obtaining decent results from your current shot-gun approach of scattering resumes every time you come across a key word – perhaps it’s time to try a test and see if a more focused effort would generate better results.

Now that I’ve repeated myself for the 100th time on the worthless approach of conducting a shot-gun job search, let’s return to the primary focus of this blog post.

Let’s assume you get screened out for an “appropriate” role.

Shame on you for letting that happen.

If you’ve taken all our recommendations in our FREE Archive of job search best practices including such items as preparing a great job search plan, developing an outstanding LinkedIn Profile, consistently and effectively leveraging cover letters, and investing extensive time in the preparation for an interview – then there is NOT a recruiter, HR staff person, or Hiring Manager who CAN deny you the opportunity to be considered.

NOW we come to the real issue behind why you get screened out for “appropriate” openings on the first recruiter interview question (forget all the  “inappropriate job responses” – you should be immediately screened out for these) – you didn’t do your homework – you didn’t apply the best practices in conducting you job search –  you basically “winged-it”.

STOP being screened out prematurely for openings for which you are perfect. STOP letting this happen. Make a resolution right now that you will never allow yourself again to be screened out prematurely for an “appropriate” position.

START today in changing the way you conduct your job search. Take our entire FREE Archive of Audio Programs, Templates, Examples, and other tools – and start transforming your job search. After you swallow that overwhelming amount of FREE content from us – start extracting the FREE content from all other great career coaches and recruiters on the internet.

STOP complaining about your ineffective job search and the obstacles you are facing. There is an extraordinary amount of great content available to you that is either FREE or can be acquired for a minimal investment. Every candidate I have met in this horrific job market that invested time in discovering and using job search best practices has dramatically reduced the time it took to land a great job.




In this blog post, we just took one tiny element of conducting a more effective job search: How to NOT get screened out by recruiters for appropriate positions in their first interview question.

There are hundreds of activities, tactics, strategies you could use to conduct an effective job search.

Barry Deutsch

Jump into the vibrant dialogue in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group on the most common basic best practices of conducting an effective job search.

Job Seekers Should Stop Being So Hypocritical

For 30 years this September, as both a contingent and retained recruiter, I have listened to the complaints by candidates (job seekers) about hiring managers and the complaints by hiring managers about candidates.

Even after 30 years, as I read blog comments, or sit in a chair and listen to these complaints, I’m still amazed (yes, amazed) at the hypocrisy spewing out from both candidates and hiring managers.

I read the comments to our blogs where candidates complain about the black hole when they send resumes, they complain about how long it takes to fill a position, they complain about recruiters, they complain about not getting their calls returned, they complain that their resume doesn’t get read in great detail, they hate the 10 second resume screen, they complain about cover letters, they complain about how these hiring managers are missing qualified people, they complain that the interview wasn’t fair or too short or too long, and that the person conducting the phone interview wasn’t qualified and didn’t know the job. This list could fill a book about the size of War and Peace, or for those not into War and Peace, book seven of Harry Potter.

Sound at all familiar if you are seeking a new position?

I then listen to hiring managers, HR, CEOs and key executives who are doing the hiring complain that, I get too many resumes, I get tired of interviewing average candidates, I will get to those resumes this weekend or next weekend, the resumes don’t match my job, candidates don’t know how to interview, candidates can’t put together two complex sentences, they complain that recruiters aren’t screening tight enough, they complain recruiters are screening too tight, they get angry at the recruiter for wasting their time interviewing unqualified candidates, they rule a qualified candidate out because they didn’t like the way they sat in the chair (I’m not kidding), they rule a candidate out because his tie was not straight (No, I’m not kidding), give me a job spec so tight and narrow that they themselves (this person’s boss and direct report) wouldn’t be qualified, tell me that from a 15-minute interview this person won’t fit, isn’t assertive enough, or my favorite, the candidate isn’t a  team player (so I ask, “What teams will they serve on?” Answer, “Well not right away, but probably in the next two years.”) They also don’t like the candidate’s handshake, or for this sales position the person needs to be a real go-getter, outgoing and aggressive (so then I ask if they like being approached by outgoing, aggressive sales people and they reply, “No, of course not.”) I could fill another book the size of War and Peace with these complaints.

Then I realized in both cases,  I’m talking with or listening to the exact same person.

Job seekers become hiring managers and hiring managers become job seekers.

The problem is that when they move from one side of the desk to the other, their perspective changes, their needs change, their priorities change, and it is a whole new ball game. Hiring, whether it’s a candidate or hiring authority is “all about me” and “what’s in it for me?”  That is just the way it is. Right or wrong, good or bad, like it or not, that is the fact of hiring.

So the next time, before you complain, from either side of the desk, please take a step back, look at yourself and treat the person on the other side of the desk with the same respect you complain about.

I know, I for one, would surely appreciate it.

You can download many free tools from our Web site. Our most popular free resource is the sample cover letter. CLICK HERE to get one.

If your LinkedIn profile is just fair to average download our free LinkedIn profile assessment to help you build a great profile that gets you noticed. CLICK HERE to download.

You should also join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking group. This group had 3,900 members. The articles and discussions can only help you with your job search. CLICK HERE to join, all are welcome, and of course it is free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Good or bad, agree or disagree, all voices are welcome. Just be respectful.

Brad Remillard

Stop Your Job Search Until 2010 – Dumb Move

I get this all the time from candidates I’m working with in our job search coaching program. It usually starts with, “The holidays are  here and nobody is hiring during this period.” or “Why look now? I will wait until the new year. It is time for a break.”

As succinctly as my mild manner can put it, DUMB MOVE. Sorry to yell, but that is what this attitude is. So let’s call it dumb.

In almost 30 years in the search business I have weathered 4 recessions, including this one. In every recession, including this one, I have active searches underway. I have filled many searches and started many searches during the holiday season. You don’t want to be left behind. For example, I will be starting a VP of Sales search today. Do you think I will wait until the new year to start the search process? NO WAY. I will be actively sourcing, interviewing and presenting candidates to my client as quickly as I can find them.

If you put  your search on hold until 2010 I will probably not find you, not consider you, and by the time you reactivate your job search, I’ll already have candidates going through the hiring process. That means only one thing for you, you are probably going to end up in the backup group of candidates.

Let others put their job hunting activity on hold. You should continue yours, as aggressively as always.

5 reasons why you should:

1) If everyone else puts their search on hold, then there is less competition out there for you, making it easier for you to be discovered.

2) As stated earlier, the hiring process doesn’t stop during this period. It may slow, but it doesn’t stop. You only need one job opportunity. Don’t let that one opportunity pass you by.

3) Why stop the momentum you have built up? This by itself is a good reason not to stop your job search activity. Why on earth would anybody want to restart a job search? It is hard enough work to begin with, so let’s do it twice. Are you serious?

4) Use this time to establish momentum going into the new year. If you think hiring will wait until the new year, fine. Doesn’t it make sense then to proactively get a jump on this hiring activity? Why would you want to be reactive? Being reactive is rarely a good job search strategy.

5) This is a great time to re-evaluate your job search. Take a look back on 2009 and do some objective analysis of what worked and what didn’t work. Use this time to get help. Read some books, listen to CDs, engage an expert. Every process needs to be analyzed. The key is objectively. If you can’t do that, then get someone to help you. You can’t fix what you don’t know isn’t working. Download our tool, Job Search Self-Assessment Scorecard, to  help with this analysis. It is FREE and a good place to start. CLICK HERE to download  yours.

This is the time to put your ego aside and listen, learn and adapt.

Don’t put your search on hold during this holiday season. Instead use this time wisely to out-smart the competition, get a leg up on the competition and be proactive.

Another tool to help you is our skills assessment worksheet. This is a good time to take an inventory of your transferable skills and put a plan together to get whatever skills you may be lacking. CLICK HERE to get your free skills assessment. Scroll to the bottom to the What’s New Section.

Finally, join our Job Search Networking Group on Linkedin. Over 3300 members have joined. This is an active group with a wealth of resources, discussions and articles to make sure your job search stays on track. It is FREE to join. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your thoughts, feedback and comments.

Brad Remillard




What’s the difference between “good-to-great” recruiters and bad recruiters?

Image of Bad Recruiter abusing a job search candidate

There are a few “good-to-great” (to borrow a popular phrase from Jim Collins) recruiters out there. Brad and I have trained thousands of recruiters over the last 25 years. The vast majority I wouldn’t want to work with if they were the last recruiters on Earth. They fall into the category of being a “broker” – pushing paper to make a buck – sacrificing ethics, relationships – all to earn a commission.

Conversely, a good-to-great recruiter exhibits the following 6 characteristics:

1. They are responsive

2. They follow-through on their commitments

3. They have a “trusted-advisor” relationship with their clients

4. They are knowledgeable about their client, the client’s industry, and the role

5. They position themselves as a “consultant” not a slick salesperson or “broker”

6. They have a deep understanding of how to measure talent and ask outstanding questions

Have I missed any important differences between bad and “good-to-great” recruiters. What’s your experience? Do you have a favorite story or recruiter behavior you would like to share with our subscribers?

One of the major mistakes many candidates make in working with recruiters is choosing to work with a bad recruiter. The risks including damaging your reputation, screwing up a job opportunity, and providing you with terrible job search or career advice.

Make sure you use the checklist above to ensure you’re working with a reliable, trustworthy recruiter who you know will “get your back” around issues of confidentiality, salary negotiation, presenting your background to client’s, and protecting your reputation.

We’re in middle of developing a scorecard for assessing recruiters. Share with us your key issue that leads to your love of working with a particular recruiter, or the issue that sends you running in the opposite direction. If enough people share your key issue, we’ll feature it as one of the core assessment categories on our recruiter scorecard.

We’ll be giving away a limited number of copies of our popular job search e-book to those who respond before the end of Friday. Shoot us back a quick comment on the blog and share your “burning” recruiter frustration or joy with the rest of our job search community – and perhaps be eligible to win a copy of our e-book based on the original soft-cover workbook, This is NOT the Position I Accepted.

While you’re thinking about your “recruiter issue”, take a moment and check out the extensive list of FREE audio programs we’ve archived on our web site. Every week Brad and I host an Internet Talk Radio show on Mondays 11-noon on, alternating with job search and hiring manager topics. We’ve discussed a few times in the last 6 months various issues of working with recruiters. There are also a series of articles on this blog about how recruiters find candidates and other related topics. Be sure to type recruiter into the search dialog box at the top of the page.


How To Engage Recruiters In Your Job Search – Radio Show

Engaging recruiters is an important component of one’s job search. As recruiters with over 50 years collective experience we discuss the best way to ensure recruiters respond to you. It is more than just sending in resumes and hoping you get the call. This show discusses concrete things you can start doing now to build a relationship with recruiters. In addition, there are many types of recruiters and a lot of different reasons to engage some but not others. In less than one hour you can find out how best engage the right recruiter for your career.