Sometimes I think too much.
I know this about myself and counter that tendency by focusing on the slogan (yes another one) "Action breeds action" every single day. "When in doubt send them out!" is another one that rings true in my ears.
However, that doesn't mean we should present a candidate without thinking, it doesn't mean our job is to fling crap at the wall without preparation.
On this board we sometimes talk about how we should prep candidates for interviews, and how much is too much. Good discussion for sure. In a tangentially related topic, I have been thinking (obsessing) about how we prepare resumes (or the term I use - presentations) for our client's viewing.
In my mind I wear an FBI Profiler hat - both when looking at prospective candidates and also when I look at the position description. The description gives me important information - both in what is written, what isn't, and what is written between the lines. These clues often determine who gets an interview and who doesn't. I imagine we have 10 seconds for a reader to make a decision about our candidiates. It used to be 30 seconds - but I think people are busier now.
Thus when I share a presentation with my client, it is a thought argument for that candidate getting an interview. That is its only purpose. I fervently believe that I need to construct that argument in a detailed and methodical manner with critical eye toward overcoming obstacles. I have to think like a skeptical client and overcome any objections. I also believe, equally fervently, that recruiters re-writing resumes is not only bad form but stupid. What is the point of getting an interview if the moke doesn't have the skills to do the job, right? Right.
So part of my process of qualifying candidates includes me gathering information for the presentation which is *always* tied directly to the requirements as given to me by the client. If they give me enough good juice, they get the keys to the kingdom (the client's name), and an invitation to the dance. If not, well they haven't earned my time. I make them do the work of putting their best foot forward in regards to writing the resume focused on speaking to their experience and showcasing their background in the language of the job description.
That is the part that trips up a lot of the recruiters that work my jobs - enough of them and often enough to actually shock me. It seems so basic, so very remedial, to simply makes sure that the candidate has all the skills on the job description. Why wouldn't we do that?! Enough don't (in my direct experience) that I realize how frustrating many of our, collective, resume submissions must be to our clients.
It is one of my most important points of qualification to ask the candidate to use the words the client uses to showcase their work and to give me some concrete examples of them doing what the client is seeking. It really is much like a secret code, and when I don't use the code, I increase my chances of failure.
Here is yet another slogan: "Words Matter." In our business they really matter, and if we forget that we are lost. Sometimes people can use the same word to say to different things. Sometimes different words can mean the same thing. It is our job to make sure that every candidate we represent has the chops to accomplish what the client desires.
Paying attention to the words on both sides of the equation is how we can do that. So very simple, and yet how many of us don't do it? Too many. Let's stop.