File this post under ‘career limiting moves’. The problem with recruiters isn’t just a general lack of imagination, it’s the overly serious and humourless way they undertake their job (I can think of only one tremendous exception). Very few seem to have a maverick streak of human understanding, an instinctive feel for company culture or the creativity that would make them a pleasure to deal with. Instead, core competencies include seeming efficiency, well-pressed clothing and taking eye-watering fees.
So, as a rule, I treat recruiters with suspicion. However, rather like funeral directors, they are sadly sometimes necessary.
Quoth a recruitment consultant to I on receipt of my CV and having never met me: ‘you need to stress the strengths that will appeal to a future employer.â€
‘Oh really,â€ said I. He said, ‘absolutely!â€ I asked what my two strongest strengths were: ‘Your degree and your time at eBay.â€
I wanted don a blazer and run out into the street of Port Meirion and shout ‘I’m not a number, I’m a free man!â€ What of me as a human? My passion for puns and humour? A love of language? My killer instinct for the salient fact? A deeply serendipitous mind? An encyclopaedic knowledge of Doctor Who? A fine singing voice? Surely these vital aspects would appeal to someone?
Inconsequential, my friends, because recruitment consultants aren’t interested in people. People are candidates and candidates exist to fill roles (never jobs!). It makes you want to weep because it’s a horrid way to look at the world. Poor them.