Never tell a recruiter “I’ll do anything”

Ange Connor

It’s cliché but if I had a dollar for every time a job seeker told me “I’ll do anything” I’d be a very rich recruiter (actually I’d probably be able to retire!). However if I had a dollar for every time a job seeker told me “I’ll do anything” and they actually meant it; they actually jumped at the first job I flagged with them then it would be a very different story, I’d be broke. So why is it the “I’ll do anything” line is commonly used when looking for work when it is very rarely ever meant?

Whether you are searching for your next career move, are desperate to get out of your current workplace or are unemployed and urgently need to find an income source, the “I’ll do anything” line is never going to help you with your job search. Pretty much every time I’m told this the conversation goes around and around in circles. I’ll ask some questions to try and get a better idea of what the person has done previously, what type of work they are interested in, what skills they have. These questions are answered with vague responses and it’s reiterated that “I’ll do anything.” Ok, if that’s the case who am I to argue. Then I reel off some of the different jobs we are currently recruiting for. As a generalist recruiter (we recruit across all industries) our jobs can vary significantly; from needing a Receptionist to a Machine Operator, a Delivery Driver to a Marketing Officer or an Accountant to an Engineer. The standard response is “No I can’t do that, No I wouldn’t want to do that, how much does that one pay, oh that’s not enough I want more money than that.”

Turns out you won’t actually do anything.

Why should you never say you’ll do anything to a recruiter?

  • It destroys your credibility
  • You’ll sound desperate
  • It makes you seem vague about what it is you really want to do and what your skills are
  • You can’t sell yourself well if you’re trying to sell yourself for anything and everything
  • When you start to knock back every job flagged with you, you run the risk of being perceived as fussy or having unrealistic expectations

Starting the conversation off on this foot with your recruiter is not going to help you build a positive relationship. For a recruiter to be able to best help you they need to understand you; what your skills are, your qualifications, areas of expertise, what you love to do and don’t like doing, what you value, what motivates and drives you. Instead of kicking off the conversation with “I’ll do anything,” take control of the conversation and make a positive impression:

  • Give the recruiter an overview of your work history and what skills you feel you have to offer
  • Let the recruiter know if you want to keep working in that line of work or if you want to explore new career paths
  • If you want to explore new career paths, share with the recruiter what you’ve been thinking about, if they know their market a great recruiter will be able to suggest possible career paths based on your transferable skills that you may not have even considered
  • If you have salary or hourly expectations be open with your recruiter, there is no point wasting everyone’s time if you need to earn a certain amount of money. Again a good recruiter will be able to guide you on market rates for different positions and help you determine if your expectations are realistic
  • Be prepared, have a look at the recruiters website and their current vacancies, let them know if any of those positions are or are not of interest and why. It’s the why that is the important part, we need to understand you
  • Share with them what it is that’s motivating you to look for a new career, we need to understand what you’ve liked about your current/previous role and what’s been missing so we can help you find the right opportunity
  • Ask lots of questions, your job search will be an information gathering exercise. The more information you gather the better prepared you will be to make informed decisions about job opportunities

A much more structured approach to your conversation with a recruiter will get you a much better outcome than if you launch in to the standard “I’ll do anything” throw away line.

Have you been guilty of telling a recruiter “I’ll do anything”?

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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