Dear Candidate: Help Me Help You by Marie

Dear Candidate:

When I like your resume enough to pull you out of our database and we’ve arranged a time to talk on the phone, I hope you’ll to be prepared to talk to me.   When I ask you to “tell me about yourself,” I hope you’ll be ready for the question.   There should not be a long, uncomfortable silence from you when I ask this.

When you get on the phone during the recruiting process, you need be able to concisely state what you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you have been doing it (preferably without jargon and hopefully with some sense of style and/or humor).   If you were in Hollywood this would be called “making your pitch.  Please be consise, so I don’t have to interupt to ask clarifying questions.

I suggest that you figure out your “elevator pitch” somewhere between writing your resume and submitting for jobs.  In fact, do it before you write your resume so you have a clearer idea of how you are targeting yourself (and so you can edit the 13 page resume down to 3 really relevant pages).  At the same time, make sure your LinkedIn profile, Twitter Bio, and your “about me” pages reinforce the way you are trying to market yourself.  Once you’ve gotten some ideas about who you are, write it down and practice it.  Test it on people and get feedback.  Call your grandma and tell her what you do.  Unless your granny was Grace Hopper, you will need to be able to explain your skills and experience in a clear jargon-free way and this is precisely your goal.  (Why jargon free?  Because experience has taught me that if you can’t tell me what you did without jargon then probably won’t interact well with non-technical stakeholders you may have to interact with, if we do hire you.)

Once you’ve done that, you will be able to respond when I say “tell me about yourself.”  So help me help you – work on your elevator pitch today since you never know when you might be asked to “tell me about yourself.” 

Join the conversation

  1. sam_92841

    Dear Recruiter,

    When I take time out of my day to take your call, I hope you will be prepared to talk to me.  When you ask me to tell you about myself you need to be prepared for a click and dead silence.  I don’t need to impress you.  I have not the time or patience for recruiters who ask general questions like that.  When you call me, you need to have read my resume front to back and you need to understand what I do.  If you want to know something about me, ask a specific question.  If you can’t infer my knowledge of my domain from the way I answer then you don’t know how to listen and you should not be wasting my time.

    Never, ever, ask me to repeat anything that is found on my resume.  The reason I wrote that document is so I can minimize the time I have to spend with dealing with people like you.  I have no patience for a novice who cannot read.

    Don’t ever tell me anything on my resume is “Jargon”.  We all know that’s the keyword for “I don’t know what this means”.  No one is fooled.   You need to be prepared when you call me and you need to know every acronym and technology I use.  Don’t ever ask me to explain technology to you.  It tells me you don’t understand the job requirement and you are probably wasting my time.  

    Don’t ever tell me I can’t interact with non-technical people.  If a non-technical person asks me a technical question they are going to get a technical answer.  If they don’t understand my answer then they should not ask questions that have answers they can’t understand.  If you are unable to grasp the reasoning behind this you should consider a career change to something within your reach.

    Do not interrupt me while I’m speaking.  If you don’t understand what I say, ask a clarifying question.  If you still don’t understand it’s because you are not qualified to interpret the job requirement and compare it to my skill set.  Call me back in a couple of years when you have more experience and maybe you will be able to bluff your way through it.

    Most important of all – never ever forget that the mindset that you are helping me is why you are where you are today – and why I am where I am.  I don’t need you.  I’m a top notch qualified candidate.  When I get a call from someone like you I immediately know you are looking for someone needy and desperate.  I’m only interested in working with recruiters who are looking for the best of the best.  We are on a different plane before one word is ever spoken.  So do yourself a favor and don’t ask me about myself.  Because I just might tell you and spoil your day.  And don’t write any more articles and post them on the Internet.

  2. Anonymous

    like Michael explained I'm startled that any body can profit $8041 in 4 weeks on the computer. did you read this web link

Comments are closed.