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Dysfunction 34: Believing what recruiters tell you

Finding a new job can be tough.

It’s something that always comes up on stress tests as a significant life event.

So aren’t we lucky that we can rely on recruiters to be there for us, to have our back, and to help us through these difficult transitions in life.

Oh, wait a minute…

If you’re in the process of finding a new job, or will be soon, you should know that sometimes agents like to ‘stretch the truth’. The following agency lies were put together by a former colleague, Tess Walpole. (She’s a Technical Writer, so the spelling and grammar should be pretty decent too).

Apparently, I’m not the only one with a sceptical view of those soapy bastards…


The ‘experienced old pro’ lie

“I’m a Senior Consultant at the agency”

My voice hasn’t broken and I’m off to my graduation next Tuesday. But I know where the toilets are now and they’ve given me my own headset.

The ‘words is hard’ lie

“I’ve read your CV”

And yet I’m going to tell you about a role for which you have no skills or experience, paying a derisory rate, located in a different country to the one in which you currently live.

The ‘money, money, money!’ lie

“The contract offers a day rate of up to £500 a day”

But you, my friend, will be seeing only £200 of it.

The ‘you’re so special’ lie

“Your CV’s perfect!”

But I will be asking you to completely rewrite it at some point so it meets the random criteria for the role I’m pushing.

The ‘no really, you’re so special’ lie

“You’re absolutely their first choice”

Actually, you’re interview filler to make my first choice look good. Frankly, you’re a bit rubbish.

The ‘dictionary corner’ lie

“The contract requires an immediate start”

Word: Immediate.

Definition: ‘3 months from now when the project gets budget and actually starts’.

The ‘missing in action’ lie

“I’ll keep you up-to-date with your application”

But you will never hear from me again once I’ve filled those interview slots. Assume I’m dead and tell my mother.

The ‘acting on orders received’ lie

“No, I won’t call you on your mobile while you’re at work”

Except when I need to double-check whether you’re OK for that interview you’ve already accepted for Tuesday, to check your birth date, to ask for an update of your employment status, to make doubly sure you’re going to that interview on Tuesday, to check whether you can bring work samples with you, to wish you luck for that interview on Tuesday you’re currently attempting to sneak out of the office for…


Thanks to Tess for sharing this with us.

I guess I could / should say that not all recruiters will try and shaft you.

So I’ll finish by saying that only 99.9% of recruiters will try and shaft you, but at least we now have a guide to help seek out the 0.1%.

They must be out there somewhere…anywhere…?

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