Does being contacted (unsolicited) by a recruiter mean that you ARE qualified for the position?

I recall a CT cast recently where they stated you should compare yourself to the job requirements. If you match 75% of the required items, you should apply.

I have fallen into the situation a few times in the past year where the potential job is the next natural step in my career progression. The problem is that I don't yet have enough experience in my current role. I also had an opportunity recently where the potential job would have been about a 50% increase in pay from my current salary. Another indication that I am not a strong candidate for the job.

I also realize that getting an unsolicited email from a recruiter is nothing particularly special. I am likely one of 50 people that met some basic search criteria on linked in.

On one hand, I feel like I should pursue the opportunity. It never hurts to listen to what is else out there. It's good to put your best foot forward. Maybe the stars will align. Maybe I can build a relationship that is useful in the future. I at least have the chance if pursue the opportunity.

On the other hand, if I don't meet the major requirements (I like the 75% rule), then I may perceived as immature, unintelligent, and naive. I would then be wasting the time of the recruiter and or initial phone scan interviewer. Don't want to burn any bridges for when I am more ready to take the next step.

Thanks in advance for any advice.


jrb3's picture
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Short answer:  no.

I've been recruited and had some recruiter friends.  My experience and conversations lead me to consider every unsolicited contact from a recruiter as an opportunity to chat.  They'll be feeling out whether I'm available, and whether I might be a potential fit for something.

It never hurts to listen to what's out there.  I've found that listening and interviewing are two different activities, though.  Mark and Mike address this in at least one podcast -- "What is Your Current Situation" from 2009 I think -- look for the "recruiter"-tagged podcasts in the "ALL Podcasts" list (in the "Podcasts" menu above).

TNoxtort's picture

I recommend you talk to every recruiter, save their contact information somewhere (I friend them on Linkedin and then assign a tag "Recruiters), get a job description from them, and then tailor your resume to the job description if you are even 50% INTERESTED (I didn't say QUALIFIED) for the job

My experience with many recruiters (pharmaceutical) is that most of them are "immature, unintelligent, and naive." Many of the initial contacts from recruiters are from a female recent college grad (I have often searched their name and found their Facebook pictures of them in a bikini), or computer generated to seem like a person. Even when you reach the senior recruiter, they often know very little about the job. I encourage you to say what you need to say (but don't lie) so your resume gets presented to the hiring manager. Case in point is me, over the last few weeks.

1) in my other thread): Was contacted by a recruiter if I had openings that he could hire for. I turned around and called him and told him I was looking and talked about me. He suggested an opportunity that is listed as Company A on my other thread. I have some aspects of that science, because it is something I want to get into, but missing the core part of what they do. I have a resume tailored to that. However, I spent that evening looking a few of the hiring manager's papers and modified a little bit. The recruiter told me the hiring manager was attracted to my resume as soon as he saw it. At the phone interview, he and his whole staff all the know core knowledge, and then can teach me, but that I have something different that he desperately needs. Face to face interview is next week. I've looked up all 12 people on my itinerary and frankly I'm intimidated that my knowledge in their core area is so low. So let's see.

2) Company B is looking for someone with my area of pharmaceuticals, but from another function that I've done a lot of. I told the recruiter enough of the things I had done so he presented me. Hiring manager didn't think I had enough experience, but decided, based on my resume and other things happening, he was going to create a more junior position for me. Phone interview, and he was ready to fly my wife and I down (Company B in my other thread). Had the face to face interview yesterday and this guy and his staff really, really, wants me. In fact, I am starting to think Company B may be a better fit than Company A than me. He also told he has no other candidates.

I hope my two examples show you that the recruiter is a gatekeeper. Obviously don't do anything that would result in a blackmark, but definitely talk to them and if the position interests you, tailor your resume to the job description and see it gets presented. I have stayed up late many a night tailoring a resume to a description. Most of the time, it didn't go through (especially the Medical Director positions where they require an MD but I have a PhD, but I really fit), but on the two that it did, I may have some awesome opportunities in the next few weeks.