Not every recruiter is honest or capable but that doesn’t mean you should lie to them. In this video, Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter explains why lying to recruiters can spell job search suicide.

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Don't Lie to Recruiters- Job Search Suicide

Hi, I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. I'm called the Big Game Hunter because I've hunted down leaders and staff organizations for more than 40 years. Let's talk about the job hunter relationship with recruiters for a minute. Now, I want to preface this all by saying not every recruiter's capable, not every recruiter's experienced. As a matter of fact some of them lie, and they're incompetent.
Be that as it may, let me also talk about Job hunters .In the recruiting business, there are a couple of basic jokes that we tell. The first joke that we tell beginning recruiters is, " how can you tell a job applicant is lying to you?" And the answer is, "their lips are moving."
The next joke is, " How can you tell an Institutional customer's lying to you? The answer is, " their lips are moving."The third one is, " how can you tell a recruiter's lying to you?" The answer is , "their lips are moving. "
it's not that everyone's necessarily lying. Everyone's posturing for advantage, whether it's you, the recruiter, the employer-- so everyone's trying to get the best deal possible.
However, let me talk with you about a stupid thing that job applicant sometimes do and I'll just tell you a story from a recent week of mine. There's a person I've been working with . . . he's a very veteran guy in IT. I met him about six weeks ago. He been out of work for five months. Couldn't understand why until I started working with him.
Now,he says one thing to me. He says something different to a client. Now, you know, I have relationships with the firm's I work with. I've worked with him for years. They trust me. With one of the clients,you know, this is a firm. I've worked with since they were half a billion in size and they're quite a few billion dollars in revenue now, I think it's close to eight billion dollars in revenue.
So, I go back with them a long way and I'vework with this practice for a long time. So, I ask him a question. Would you accept less than what you're making now? He says, "yeah," I guess so. How much less? He tells me. You know, I talk with my client. They were unwilling to pay what he was previously earning. They just didn't see the value in it. The number he now quoted to me was now within something they found acceptable.
So, I schedule an interview for him. He talks with my client. They ask him, " how much are you willing to accept?" he starts with the original salary range. You don't do that. The impact of that was they come to me,they ask me about it, I tell them what my conversation was. They, in turn, respond by saying, "you know, we wanted to verify that so we called him a second time and asked them the question, again.
He stated the same high number and we're not interested. That's the impact of of deception. You say one thing to a recruiter and you say something different to the client ,the firm that's interviewing you and you think you can negotiate. At the end, you can't. You have to at least make them fall in love first because as I say to people all the time, no love, no money, no, honey.
You can you can say things like, I was making such and such. I'm flexible. I prefer not to be flexible,but if iwhat's necessary to get a job with an organization I respect and admire, doing work that I'd love, I'll take a few dollars less," but when you say one thing to a recruiter and something different to a client, understand, the company and the recruiter have a lengthy relationship with one another. They know you're lying. They know you're blowing smoke at them and they won't tolerate it because they start asking themselves pretty quickly. What "else is he going to lie about? Where else is there? Are they going to give me a headache that I don't really need to have, Wedon't really care because we're looking for someone who's honest and forthright, not someone who's going to, shall we say, "finesse us all the time."
So that's my reminder for today. Be honest about things. If you say something Q a recruiter, stick with it. I'
I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. If you like today's video, come over to my website, I have more there oryou can watch them On YouTube.. If you're watching this on YouTube and you liked it, click the like button. It lets other people know that the videos are good. While You're at my website,, sign up for a complimentary subscription to my e-zine which is called No BS Coaching advice. I publish it twice monthly with advice for job hunters. The advice is good anywhere in the world no matter where you are. This advice is good for you. You can also read many of the Articles I've written for it previously plus listen to podcasts on my radio show, No BS Job Search advice Radio, which I broadcast daily on
again, the leads are good worldwide. You can also find that information about my books and guides to job hunting as well as other people's books. This is Jeff Altman,The Big Game Hunter.
Hope you found today's video helpful. Hope you have a great day. Take care.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2200 episodes.

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  1. Muzzy337

    What would you say about a recruiter who pitches a job as a direct hire but it’s really a temp to hire position? She sends a job description and company benefits schedule but the job offer comes from the recruiting agency instead of the company itself? No mention of who the job offer will come from up front, no benefits for 6 months and no other perks whatsoever.

    1. Jeff Altman

      +Muzzy337 It depends . . . sometimes the issue is with the client wo changes the conditions last minute from a full time position to a temp to perm gig. The recruiter is the face of the situation and they won’t get paid unless you say, “Yes.” They want to paid so they allow themselves to be “the bad guy.” Sometimes, it is because the recruiter is deceitful. I don’t know the truth and neither do you. All I would say, never take a gig that is misrepresented to you because you don’t know what else was misrepresented to you.

    2. Muzzy337

      +Jeff Altman Thanks for your thoughts. I’m pretty sure the conditions weren’t changed at the last minute. The position was presented to me as a direct hire situation. No mention of any temp to hire circumstance. A company benefits list was sent along with the job description as an enticement. I interviewed and received an offer from the agency, NOT the company. No benefits and the salary was 10% less than what I asked for. It is a textbook ‘bait and switch’ type of thing. The recruiter basically lied to me from the start. It’s very disappointing to see how this unfolded.

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