How Not To Pitch For A Job

How Not To Pitch For A Job or How One Job Applicant Got It So Wrong

How Not To Pitch For A Job

How Not To Pitch For A Job

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and this is true in my profession as well.

I speak to hundreds of candidates every month and as soon as the conversation begins, I’m working out which one of the roles and companies I deal with you’re going to suit best.

The Wrong Way

“It’s not that I want to do it, it’s that I can do it.”

This is what the applicant on the phone was telling me.

He’d applied for a job that he was more than capable of doing, but as he’d just said “he didn’t really want to do it”.

This wasn’t doing it for me!

I’d started the conversation by asking about his current job, but he didn’t want to have that conversation.

“I know who the company is, they’re just down the road from me.”

I tried to get the conversation back on track by asking him why he’d applied for the position, but to be honest I had a lot of work to do to get excited about him as a candidate now.

It turned out he was unhappy with the insecurity in his current role and these are his words not mine, the “impending demise of the business”.

Again I wished he’d let me carry out the telephone interview in the right way, but he was keen to explain to me why he “wanted to be put forward” and everything wrong with his current employer.

I would have got to this, as part of my interviewing process, and you’ll have to take my word for it, it would have been more constructive if he’d let me.

I started to speed the conversation along.

I wanted to help him, but the reality was that his CV didn’t show half of the experience specified in the job description that he was telling me he had, and I suggested he revise his CV and we’d talk again the following day.

Why You Need To Do It

The candidates that I have the most success in placing are the ones I know the most about.

When I put you forward for a role, I’ll highlight all of the reasons why you meet the expectations of the job.

Why you may be a good match for the company.

What you’re looking for on a professional, and sometimes an emotional level, and how that matches the role on offer.

When I’m discussing your application with my client I’ll be able to answer all of their questions and give an honest appraisal of you as good fit for the role (or not as the case may be).

The client hasn’t spoken to you, so they won’t know anything about you, but if we’ve had an open and frank conversation then I’ll know.

I’ll also know more about my client than you will.

I’ve been talking to them, getting to know them, learning what makes a good fit for their organisation.

Sometimes I’ve found out by trial and error, and sometimes I’ve found out because they took the time to explain it to me.

The eventual benefit to both you and the client should be that I match the right people with the right jobs and the right companies.

The Right Way

“Tell me why you left your last job?”

I was part the way through the interviewing process but this was the point were I really started to feel the match with the clients brief was a good one.

“I like to get out onto the Shopfloor.”

“I like to interact with the engineers working for me and understand what the issues are. That way I think I do a better job.”

“I seem to spend so much time preparing for meetings, reporting against KPIs, and fire fighting, that I very rarely get a chance to implement any real changes.”

He went on to explain “there was always pressure to get the product out the door, without any real concern about quality, or putting systems in place that meant we could the job in a proper organised manner the next time it was needed”

I asked about the kind of company he would be interested in working for, the kind of environment he thought he would do best in and he went onto explain what he felt that would be.

As we discussed the job further, he offered more examples that weren’t included on his CV (you can’t include everything am I right?) that made him an even better fit for the job.

I was absolutely confident he was what the company were looking for, and after 2 interviews they agreed with me by offering a salary at the higher end of the pay scale.


If you find a good Recruiter that’s interested in placing you in the right role, then if you want my advice, work with them.

Let them do their job, answer their questions, provide them with information that you think will help them, and above all trust them.

If you find a bad Recruiter?…..Run

What’s your opinion?

Has spending time talking to a Recruiter helped you find the right role or have you had to do most of the work yourself?

I’d be interested in your thoughts in the comment box below.

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