Describe your job.

I interview a lot of people by phone and in person. Most of them are very poor at describing what it is they do.

I think most of them assume that I know what their job is all about since I am supposed to be a “specialist” in whatever field they work in.

Most headhunters have never actually worked in your field before so we only have a rudimentary knowledge of what your job is all about. This also applies to HR professionals as well. They have a little more info on the internal workings of a company but don’t expect them to understand what a cost accountant or engineer really does.

For example let’s say you are a materials manager. Your resume states that your position requires you to “ensure integrity of material flow”. Ok but what does that mean?

How is integrity defined? Where is the material flowing? What are the steps you take to ensure this miraculous “integrity”?

Before you go to your next interview ask yourself this question: How would I describe my job to a complete stranger who had no experience in my field. Let’s say you are visiting your parents and the next-door neighbor asks you what your job is all about. Now let’s say he is a retired bus driver who has no business experience. Can you make him understand your job? You should be able to.

I’ve met a quite a few managers and senior executives who seem to get annoyed if you don’t immediately understand on an intuitive level what they are talking about. This doesn’t help the process because if I feel uncomfortable asking you to clarify things then I will assume this is how you deal with subordinates who ask questions that annoy you or who don’t “get it” as fast as you would like.

My co-blogger Mike will not let you away with this. He will ask you for examples repeatedly (and I will also). Be prepared with examples from your daily work that illustrate what it is you do.

This may seem onerous but remember as headhunters we have to be able to go to our client and represent you as best we can. We are your agent. The more you help us with details the better we can sell you to our client.

And we can’t sell the product if we don’t know anything about it.

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