15 Secrets of Specialized Recruiters

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.


Pssst. You, there. Come here.

I have some job hunting secrets for you. I’m going to tell you what it’s like from the other side. I’m going to share things you probably don’t want to know about specialized recruiting. So listen up and it might just land you your next job.


15 Job Hunting “Secrets” from Specialized Recruiters

  1. We really hate ridiculously creative fonts on a resume, unless you’re applying for some sort of design job, which we don’t staff because we specialize in placing intellectual property professionals.
  2. Recruiters know your “consulting gig” was really time spent in between jobs.
  3. It’s clear your salary history has been adjusted for inflation.
  4. We realize you probably either have a lot more weaknesses than you’re admitting to or you don’t think you have any. We’ll let the client sort that one out.
  5. We’re always looking for something that’s off. It’s nothing against you but we work for the client and want to bring an impressive slate of candidates each and every time. We don’t like surprises.
  6. You really can talk too much.
  7. You really can talk too little.
  8. We don’t appreciate any late arrivals, whether it’s an in-person interview or over the phone. You start off in neutral. Tardiness begins the sliding scale.
  9. We look through a lot of resumes and LinkedIn profiles. You need to be pay attention to details.
  10. Grammar matters.
  11. Job jumping matters in tech transfer. It’s not like sales. It’s a relatively stable environment. A recruiter is less likely to present you as THE one if s/he is concerned you won’t be there in six months or a year from then.
  12. The choice is not ours. We present the best candidates and offer our professional advice. The choice is always the client’s.
  13. We assess skills and department culture fit. You should too.
  14. We don’t do on the job training. If you don’t know something or have a certain skill, be honest. The client may see other things in you and be willing to train you on the skill you’re lacking.
  15. We love dream candidates because they make us look good in front of our client. Anything you can do to affect that will score you high points. If you’re courteous, well-spoken, driven, honest, skilled, and interested in the opportunity, we’d love to work with you.

I meant this list to be somewhat humorous but the bottom line is, a great candidate impresses us and helps us do our job. Don’t hide things hoping they won’t come out. Treat your relationship with a recruiter the way you would any other with respect and interest. We’re not the enemy. We’re the audition before the opening night’s critics.

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