Re: Question of the Day

Subject: Re: Question of the Day
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2006 13:04:34 -0800

James Barrow wrote:

I think you're missing the chance to pick the recruiter's brain. Use interview techniques to get what you want:

If I
find the perfect job that's 50 miles away, and a recruiter deems that too
far, how would I tactfully do a little arm-twisting to get him/her to send
my resume to the client anyway?

Turn it back to the recruiter. Ask what they think is an allowable distance. Ask whether it is a personal preference that they're expressing. Ask why they think it is appropriate for them to intercede on account of distance?

These questions can be carried off in conversational tones. I imagine it would take very little persuasion to get them to send the resume, once you find that there's no particular requirement in the job description for a local writer.

With that said, I should also say that I have run into the requirement for the writer to be local. It had to do with some perceived benefit to the local economy.

Another recruiter asked me during an interview if I was planning any
travel in the near future.
Inability to do the work
required, even if reasonable accessibility is provided, is a legal reason
to refuse employment.

Oh man, you're getting closer to the 'sensitive' issues

No kidding! If you revealed that you can do the work but need some sort of accomodation (accessibility, for example), then many employers will indeed pass you over.

Whenever I actively look for a job, I invariably talk to a recruiter who
goes through my job history in great detail. This includes asking me what
my salary was for every job on my resume.
The recruiter was trying to gauge what salary/fee/rate you would ask for.
That's not necessarily to get you hired for the cheapest amount, but to
avoid going through the pain of interviewing you and making an offer if you
are expecting much more than they can offer.

Sorry, Joe, I can't buy this one. After a little research it seems that the
recruiter was simply turning the tables to try to get me in at the lowest

This is another opportunity to learn something useful from the recruiter. Before you consider telling them about your history, ask them what the prevailing range or rate or salary is for this job title in this market. They don't mind talking about that kind of information, since this is what they know about.

If the response causes your antennae to twitch and you do feel like something's hinky, then you're probably not going any farther into the process, because they're working with some unusual restrictions, or they're set on gouging their retirement fund from your salary, or whatever. But that is not to say that the interview is over--you can still use it as an opportunity to sharpen your teeth. Consider asking for 401K matching, paid holidays, or fewer hours per week. If they can't negotiate, then you might as well probe for insights. I would consider saying "So you're looking for an intern?" Or maybe, "Have you placed many tech writers at that rate recently?" Or even, "How long have you been trying to fill this position?" Go ahead, express yourself, show them how interested you are in getting a favorable contract or position. A recruiter who is trying to play you should be showing signs of distress by the time you're satisfied that really, they don't have anything to offer you. If the interview is going to be rough on someone, why let it be you?

Have fun,

Ned Bedinger
doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com

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RE: Question of the Day: From: James Barrow

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