Recruiters are skilled at connecting people with jobs.
IT recruiters are professionals who help companies find the best possible candidates to fill their open positions and help candidates find the best possible job fitting their qualifications. Many IT recruiters are good at what they do, even though they juggle an almost impossible number of requisitions (open jobs) that they are expected to close quickly.
Despite recruiters' skills and expertise, however, there are limits on what IT recruiters are able to do. Some tasks or roles are outside the scope of the normal recruiting process, and no amount of wishing, hoping or pressuring will make it possible for recruiters to be what they are not. Here are some things recruiters just can't do, no matter how much they and you wish they could.
1. An IT recruiter can't give a candidate qualifications they don't have. Recruiters have to look at facts and follow the requirements of postings for the jobs they need to fill. A job may seem perfect for you, but don't bother to apply with a recruiter if you don't have the qualifications they seek, because you won't get past the first round resume scan without having the required skills for the job. IT jobs can be very specific in the skills needed, and if you don't have them, you won't be able to do the job.
2. An IT recruiter can't make someone a good cultural fit. Recruiters don't have a lot of time to assess cultural fit, but in the time they do have, they have learned to go with their gut and pay attention to subtle cues that speak volumes about a person's fit with a particular company. Cultural fit is every bit as much an indicator of whether an IT employee will work out in the long term as skills and qualifications. You just can't fake it, no matter how much you may want to.
3. An IT recruiter can't give a candidate interpersonal skills. Yes, it is a stereotype that IT employees aren't particularly good with people, but even stereotypes are true sometimes. If your interpersonal skills need work (you may not realize it, but people will probably tell you they do), you should work on that in any way you can before your next interview. If you are perceived as annoying and weird, you will have a harder time getting hired, no matter what your skills are.
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4. An IT recruiter can't recommend someone they don't believe could do the job well. Yes, recruiters want to fill positions, but increasingly, they are measured not just on filled positions but on how employees are doing after 6 months or a year. Bad recommendations will come back on them, and they don't want that.
5. An IT recruiter can't assess skills and qualities not included in your resume. Recruiters are not mind readers. If you want them to know about a skill or anything else about you, you need to tell them. The resume is the best place to do this, since not all cover letters get read by time-crunched recruiters.
6. An IT recruiter can't make an employer hire someone on their recommendation alone. Recruiter Susan Lamotte says that recruiters "influence, but rarely decide." Once they recommend a candidate, the employer has the power to agree or to counteract their decisions.
7. An IT recruiter can't give you time they don't have. Most recruiters are extraordinarily pressed for time - all the time. Rest assured that they are doing the best they can to work on your behalf to find that next great job. Recruiters should stay in contact with you and keep you in the loop about where the process stands, but frequent calls and hand-holding just isn't possible with the fast pace and high demands of recruiting.
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