I had a resume that summarized five years of experience in the Quality Improvement department of a non-profit alcohol, drug and mental health treatment agency in Southeastern Ohio, and my run of successful social media projects. I included writing samples. I prayed that my education from Marshall University in West Virginia would come in handy and impress the New Yorkers. It was a hot summer day, and I was overheating in my business attire by the second.
I was an out-of-towner at the local job fair, and because of my accent, couldn’t hide it.
I stepped into the ballroom of a local hotel and suddenly had no idea what to do. My job fair strategy which I had developed days before suddenly vanished from my mind. Eager job seekers swirled all around me, resumes in hand, darting from one booth to the next, reciting their 30-second commercial to representatives of companies I wasn’t familiar with. I took a deep breath, dug deep to find the confidence I’d relied on in job searches past, and set out to find the local staffing and recruiting agencies. Remembering that I’d successfully used various career seeking services in prior job searches before relocating to the area, I approached each recruiting and staffing firm enthusiastically.
Some representatives shook my hand and asked what field I was in; I said “non-profit” and they referred me to their website. Some quickly informed me that they were not accepting resumes today, which I could understand as there were hundreds of applicants surfing the aisles of that ballroom. I skipped a couple of others whose booths were entirely too crowded, and vowed to go back later. Feelings of defeat started creeping into my gut. My brief introduction was quite lame and seemingly ineffective. I wasn’t being honest with myself, or to the company representatives I’d spoken with. I simply wasn’t “Bringing it” – and then, I saw the blond from the magazine.
A couple weeks prior, I browsed a summer issue of Capital Region Living while relaxing at at Valley Cats baseball game. As a job seeker, I was looking for appealing businesses that I might be interested in contacting. I came across several articles profiling local businessmen and women, but one that held my attention the longest was the feature on Renee Walrath and Walrath Recruiting, Inc.
And there she was, live and in person, at the job fair. I jumped up to an empty space at the booth with catlike reflexes. I immediately felt comfortable with her and let my Southerner-trying-to-be-a-city-girl guard down. She understood what I really wanted to do with my life, and best of all, she seemed genuinely interested in what I had to offer.
And here I am. My aim is to expose a day in the life of a recruiter, describing the various hats we wear from morning to night; whether it be a hard hat, Google glasses, scrubs or a business suit, recruiting staff continuously morph from one career to the next on any given day in an effort to make companies and job candidates happy. And we do this because it makes us happy.