3 Things Recruiters Wish They Could Tell You — But Can’t

It’s a familiar, and admittedly strange scenario: you’re seated across from a recruiter (or maybe having a Skype chat), and you intuitively know that she or he wants to tell you something important. It might be a slight change in the tone of their voice, a certain look in their eyes, or a shift in their posture. You can’t put your finger on it, but you just know that there’s more to the story.

Well, the bad news is that professional recruiters are forbidden from revealing what they truly want you to know. If they do, they can get fired — and they’ll be on the other end of the recruitment process trying to find a new job.

But the good news is that we aren’t forbidden to do much of anything around here. And so, we invite you to sit back, get comfortable, grab your favorite gluten-free snack, and behold 3 things that recruiters with they could tell you — but can’t (yet we can!):

1. You can probably ask for more money than we’re offering.

Most job seekers would rather get a root canal than risk obliterating their chances by asking for more money. But guess what? There’s usually at least a little wiggle room — and sometimes, there’s a lot. While you shouldn’t go overboard, it’s probably not as risky as you think to negotiate a higher base salary (provided that it’s reasonable). Or at least, you can try and get an extra week’s vacation or other meaningful perk.

2. Your social media (mis)adventures are coming back to haunt you.

Remember that funny picture you took with your friends that time you went to Myrtle Beach? Yes, that one with the beer bottles and strategically arranged sand (we’ll just leave it at that). Well, unfortunately, what was hilarious back then and generated plenty of “likes” is now coming back to haunt you. Your best move here is to scrub off as much compromising content as you can, and give yourself a cease and desist order if you’re ever tempted to post anything new that could compel an employer to think twice about your judgment (or why on earth you did that thing with the beer bottles and sand).


3. Chemistry is more important than skill.

Recruiters know better than anyone that whether or not a candidate stays with an organization is less about their skillset, and more about their personality. Of course, that’s not to say that skills are unimportant. If a job requires advanced proficiency with Salesforce, Crystal Reports, Quickbooks, or any other software platforms typically found in the modern workplace, then you need to have this knowledge — you can’t fake it until you make it. But whether you move forward in the hiring process or get a “thanks for your interest” email depends largely on chemistry. If you are well prepared, well dressed, and high-energy during the interview, then you should be fine. Conversely, if you are disoriented, sloppy, and could barely stay awake, then your job hunt is likely going to continue.