The Pietrack Press
Job Search Myths
Being an executive search consultant, I am privy to many job search myths that seem to never go away. I hope to expose these myths and replace them with the reality of the situation.
Myth 1: The recruiter is working for me: During a search process, the recruiter is going to interact with the candidate far more than their client. Because of this, the perception is created that the recruiter is the candidate’s agent, but this is a myth. The recruiter’s fiduciary responsibility is to the company who is paying their retainer or their fee. Through the entire recruiting process, I am evaluating the candidate pool for my client. By the end, I make my recommendation to them about who is the best person and the most likely to accept our offer. Candidates would be well-served by knowing that recruiters represent the company, and the candidate should be interacting with the recruiter as if they were another person in the interview process.
Myth 2: Resumes get read: I can tell you honestly, that I spend about 10 seconds on a resume before I determine if the person is a candidate or not. I asked my internet researcher, and she said she spends about 20-30 seconds on a resume to try to determine fit. The take away from this is that resumes aren’t read like a narrative. The person receiving your resume scans over it to see if your last one or two positions were relevant or attention grabbing. So, on the first page of your resume, have a hook. A hook is something that is easily found in the first 10 seconds that will get them to spend more time reading the resume. If I see a resume with a good hook, aka relevant work experience, I will spend several minutes reading it. If a recruiter can’t find the relevant experience in a few seconds you are either not a fit at all or your resume is organized in such a way that the hook is hidden.
Myth 3: I’m an individual contributor at a large company, so I’m a fit for a manager job at a small company: I want to explode this myth with full detonating power. I have filled many manager-level jobs at companies of varying size, and never once have they told me to go and find an individual contributor. No company is looking to promote another company’s individual contributor over their own. In the case when a small company doesn’t have an internal person to promote, I see them being more selective than big companies about who they hire. A small organization can’t afford to miss on an employee or take a risk on a new manager. The small company is likely to be searching for a candidate with who has built-out teams, developed SOPs, and developed training programs. So, if you are searching for a management role, I would recommend targeting small growing companies. Remember though, you’re going to have to join that company within the same functional job as you’re leaving.
Myth 4: If I make a job change, I should get a 15-20% increase in salary: MYTH! In only the rarest cases do we see this type of increase. It is usually when someone is grossly underpaid to begin with, and the new company doesn’t take advantage of that person’s situation. In most cases, people who make job changes can expect a 4-8% increase. This is the way I explain it to my candidates. First, I ask them what their last merit increase was. They usually tell me 2-4%. At that point I explain that making a job change is like a double merit increase. Changing jobs is not a get rich quick scheme. Candidates who say they won’t change jobs for anything less than a 10% increase either need to be educated or need to stay in their current job. From a recruiter’s perspective, candidates who have unrealistic money expectations are candidates I am unlikely to move forward with in an interview process.
Myth 5: My resume is complete: A mistake I see candidates committing is that they only have one version of their resume. Your resume is a presentation about yourself, and each company and each opening is a new audience. Tailor your resume per position just like you would tailor a presentation to different audiences. For example, change the “Objective” and bring out relevant skillsets that are applicable to the specific job. If this seems like a ton of work, you are sending your resume to too many places.
I hope this helps you when you find yourself in a job search or when you are giving helpful advice to a friend.
About the Author: Michael Pietrack is a leading executive recruiter in a the Pharmaceutical Industry and arguably the top recruiter in the Medical Affairs space. His specific expertise is recruiting in Field Medical Affairs placing Medical Science Liaisons, and therefore, he has been dubbed “The MSL Recruiter” (www.TheMSLRecruiter.com).
What is TMAC Direct?: TMAC Direct is an executive search agency that serves the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industries. This boutique firm fills critical staffing needs on a retained, partially retained, or contingency basis. TMAC Direct is the direct-hire recruiting division of The Medical Affairs Company, commonly known as TMAC. Together TMAC and TMAC Direct, provide an unmatched staffing service in the Medical Technology arena, whether the hiring needs are on a permanent placement or outsourcing basis.
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