Interesting article in today’s newspaper about Adam Ezekiel—the former Chief Technology Officer of GreenGrocer.com.
To summarise, Mr Ezekiel has become increasingly suspicious about the contents of his recruiter file after repeated job applications have failed to get him the results he desires.
One may say “Welcome to the real world!“—after all, there are hundreds, if not thousands of senior-level IT people currently looking for work—-all of whom probably feel they’re the unbeatable candidate and who have equally solid backgrounds.
Despite this, Mr Ezekiel is, according to the Age newspaper, taking it one step further by seeking to acquire a copy of his file to see (what, if any) comments, suggestions, or information the files contain that may be prejudicial to his candidacy.
So is it sour grapes or does Mr Ezekiel have a legitimate concern? Is it possible that recruiters’ files could be so prejudicial that they actively stop a job seeker’s candidacy in its tracks? And, is it unreasonable, that if there is something that is stopping anyone from making a living that he or she should be given the opportunity to uncover and work on resolving it?
As all job seekers know, there are many reasons for missing out on a job and no amount of increases in the volume of applications sent, is going to get it for you. These can include:
- Applying for a job in a different industry than which you are primarily known as an expert. (Industry experience today is vital)
- Applying for a job that is below the level or unrelated to your last job. (Everyone knows you won’t be happy)
- Applying for a job that is above the level of your last job. (Concerns are expressed about “first-timers'” ability to take the next step up)
- Applying for a job where you won’t fit in with the culture. (You’ll be considered “dad” in a group of twenty-somethings)
- Applying for a job where you have 90% of the skills and experience against a candidate with 100%. (Just bad luck in a busy, saturated sector)
- Applying for a job when your reputation as “unlikeable” precedes you. (Reputations are everything in IT)
- Applying for a job when a person who used to work with you as a customer, vendor, colleague or manager works there already and has a beef against you. (Reputations again count)
- Failing to engage the interviewer (are you arrogant, too slow, too dull, too bumbling, too smart, rude, unprepared)
And… if you’re not getting interviews at all, then it could be your resume and the way it is presented.
So what do you think? Do you think it is possible that a recruiter’s file could actively sabotage your job search? Has it happened to you?
Have you, or would you, ever ask to see your personal file from a recruiting firm?
And… do you wonder whether this is a really clever marketing tactic to get media coverage and gain exposure to a wider audience? (And if yes, how can we all do it? :))