No B.S. Coaching Advice

Should I Listen to Recruiters?

Career Guidance | Should I Listen to Recruiters? | Career Angles

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

When I worked in recruiting, I trained many people. Some did extremely well; some washed failed pretty quickly. After all, recruiting is a very demanding field. You have to “sell” both a corporate client and a job hunter in order to earn a commission. Insurance agents don’t have to do that. Car sales people don’t have to do that. After all, how many car salespeople have to persuade a manufacturer to sell the car to someone?

Embedded in the relationship with people is the notion of who pays the fee for service. When you purchase a home, in many states, you are asked to sign a document that indicates that a real estate agent or realtor may function as a buyer’s agent (they are representing the buyer in the transaction), a seller’s agent (representing and being paid to sell the home) or both. There is no such document offered to people as they talk to a recruiter.

They may have great advice AND it may be tilted toward representing the firm that is paying them . . . which usually isn’t you. As a result, anything they say has to be looked at with a skeptical eye because the fact is what is usually offered for free is usually worth that.

Free advice is usually designed to:

  1. Persuade you to write your resume so they can represent you to their client
  2. Persuade you to go on an interview
  3. Persuade you to go back for another interview
  4. Persuade you to overlook something ridiculous (or worse) their client wants you to do
  5. Persuade you to accept a job offer for a position that has “rough edges” to it including a boring job, a salary that is too low, a manager that is a problem manager, a commute that is too long, a dead-end job, surrendering benefits because of the “great opportunity.”

Now, to be clear, I am not encouraging you to disregard their opinion. That would be foolish. I am encouraging you to do is “trust but verify,” a recommendation from a former US President about how to engage in any negotiation.  You can develop a more trusting relationship when you can independently corroborate the opinions and assertions a recruiter makes.

Doing that allows them to earn your trust rather than give it away so freely as too many people do


© The Big Game Hunter, Inc. Asheville, NC  2018    



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunterepisodes and “No BS Coaching Advice.” Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Connect with me on LinkedIn. Then message me to schedule an initial complimentary session. offers great advice for job hunters PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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