Tips for working with your recruiter #6: Be frank and honest about difficult topics
Previous posts in series:
- Tips for working with your recruiter #1: Understand how executive recruiting firms work
- Tips for working with your recruiter #2: Be open to the possibility of a new position, even if you are not actively searching
- Tips for working with your recruiter #3: Be frank about your salary history and needs (part 1 of 2)
- Tips for working with your recruiter #3: Be frank about your salary history and needs (part 2 of 2)
- Tips for working with your recruiter #4: Be frank about your ability and desire to relocate
- Tips for working with your recruiter #5: Be frank about how your spouse’s/partner’s career relates to your own
You may have noticed that we’ve had several posts about honesty on this blog:
- Resume tip #5: Don’t concoct appealing but spurious details or falsely embellish (i.e., lie)
- Resume tip #6: Don’t plagiarize
- Behavioral interviewing tip #7: Don’t try to game the system (because it’s essentially impossible)
The reasons are simple. In addition to being wrong, not being honest about facts has the potential to prevent you from getting your dream job. Not being honest about your needs and intentions has the potential to waste your and others’ time.
Today, let’s talk about being honest about difficult topics in one’s personal or career history. Some of these topics include:
- Criminal record: many companies these days perform background checks.
- Bad credit: it’s very common these days for companies to run credit checks. Having bad credit is considered to be a sign of poor organization and decision-making skills that could negatively impact job performance.
- Rough spots in employment history: companies may call former employers to verify start and end dates of employment, positions held, etc.
Now, it’s not as though recruiters are going to have you sign a general confession form as soon as you start talking with them! In fact, they will be primarily interested in the positive things about you, like your accomplishments, skills, and educational credentials.
The important thing is to provide accurate information should these difficult topics come up. Yes, it’s not easy to admit problems and mistakes, especially when you feel, perhaps with some justification, that they were not your fault. But we recruiters deal with tough issues and roadblocks all of the time. We’ll be frank right back with you if something is a deal breaker, but our job is to find ways through and around problems (while of course being frank and honest with our own clients).
Being frank and honest from the beginning with your recruiter is an important part of building this valuable relationship.
The Key Corporate Services Blog Team