Know How To Explain Your Job

I often work for other executive search firms on a project-by-project basis. My project managers rarely take me out to meet their clients so I depend on them for the details of the job description and requirements. But, they're often short on info. They'll tell me, for instance, that they need someone with strong experience designing and implementing security architecture but they don't tell me what that is. Instead, here's what they do say, "Ask the candidate. If she can't explain it to you in layman's terms, hang up because I don't want to talk her."

Therefore, my advice to the true careerist is to make sure that you're always able list your job responsibilities in clear, simple terms.

Recruiters and interviewers almost always have a checklist of requirements that contain certain buzzwords. And, you're always free to ask her to run them by you so you can check off which ones you have. And, as you do, make sure to provide specific evidence of the extent of your experience in those areas.

If you're speaking to anyone but the hiring manager, don't assume the person shares your specialist's knowledge. First, explain what you do in laymans' terms. If the interviewer is a specialist, she will follow up with detailed questions.

If she isn't a specialist, it's important to patiently help her understand what you do. Because, as ignorant as she might be, she's still the person who will pass you onto a specialist but only if you press the right buttons first.

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