How to talk with recruiters

Introduction: Jeff Moore,a lead engineering recruiter for Google,  gives  his advice on speaking with recruiters just like him Jeff has over 10 years of recruiting experience in the high tech and software industries and is currently responsible for recruiting world class engineers to join Google’s offices in Atlanta, Cambridge, Chicago, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Waterloo and Washington DC.

Recruiters tend to be pretty unique folks. We’re generally outgoing and can usually have a conversation with anyone about most anything. That being said, talking to recruiters is a bit of an art form. Let me explain a few thoughts on how best to work with a recruiter.

Do’s – Tell us what you are looking for in a job. Being confident and assertive in your goals is like music to our ears and helps us figure out if we have a role for you.

Don’t – Say things like “I’m not sure,” “I’m up for anything,” “I don’t care what I do.” These phrases are a turn-off for recruiters. We want to hire you, tell me why we should!

Do ‘s– Show some personality and sense of humor. Depending on the day, that friendly recruiter you’re talking to may have spoken with several hundred people by the time you get to them. We appreciate a good joke or funny personal story, and it helps make an impression.

Don’t – Be unprofessional. Recruiters talk to people for a living, it’s our job. No matter how friendly the tone, remember the conversation is strictly professional. Never ask a recruiter out on a date or put them in an uncomfortable situation. Recruiters want to see if you’re a fit for their organization and that’s it. All business.

Dos– Ask questions. Recruiters don’t expect you to know everything there is to know about our organizations. We are more than happy to answer questions and help you learn about the company. I love it when a candidate asks me, “What do you like best at Google?” and then follows up with, “and what do you like least?” Recruiters like thoughtful and interesting discussions. Engage us.

Don’t – Make assumptions about what you think we’ll want to hear. Nothing will drive a recruiter crazy faster than when someone drops a bunch of cliché, elevator pitch lingo into a conversation. Be thoughtful and genuine and recruiters will return the favor.

Don’t – Stress. Recruiters don’t care if you stumble over your words or forget our names or confuse us with other companies. We get it. Looking for a job is stressful and sometimes stress causes us to do funny things. Take a deep breath, it will all be fine.

I hope these tips help. Good recruiters will talk to anyone about anything in an effort to find the best talent on the planet. Good luck!

by Jeff Moore, Lead Engineering Recruiter.