Once upon a time, aliens landed on Earth. Since then, they’ve been responsible for many strange events happening on Earth.

For some, the sentence above is a fact, for others, it is a myth, some people believe it, others think it’s nonsense. You’ll find the analogy with some rumour circulating on IT recruitment processes (true also for other areas). As students and candidates ask similar questions in our meetings, I will try to debunk a few myths and confirm several facts on recruiting in IT.

The recruiter spends only 5 seconds on reading a single CV

It happens to be true, but on rare and exceptional occasions. Recruiters (like everyone) try to save their time and if they look for a particular skill, necessary for the right position – a glance might actually be enough to find the information. However, browsing is extremely rare – usually, a recruiter looks at the CV much longer – that is why preparing a good CV and a cover letter is crucial.

Nobody reads cover letters

Using so-called large quantifiers is very risky – that’s why, of course, this opinion about recruiters is a myth. Unfortunately, the fact is that the cover letters sent to us are difficult to read – difficult because they are usually poorly written. The vast majority is clichéd, general, not matched to the position applied for. The role of a cover letter is to convince the recruiter why “I am the perfect candidate for this position” – that is why it is so important to match the content of the letter to the specific advertisement.

Clothes do make a man

Can the outfit cancel the chances for the recruitment success? The IT industry stands out with its own rules for the “Dress code”. We, recruiters, know what it’s like and we do not expect candidates to wear their wedding suits, super elegant shoes, and silk ties. However, it should be remembered that the recruitment process is in a sense the commercial process – and everyone (including recruiters) first “buy” with their eyes. Each meeting requires respect for the person we meet, which is also confirmed with the outfit suited to the circumstances. The principle of moderation works well in this area – you should not exaggerate with elegance, but summer madness with flip-flops and shorts is also not the best solution. Above all, the point is that it should be clean, tidy and convenient for both of the parties.

Is there a blacklist of candidates that is exchanged among the recruiters?

This is a 100% myth – such a list has never existed and never will. Firstly, because the law prohibits processing personal data this way. Secondly, recruiters have more interesting activities than creating such a list. But if someone thinks that if such a list is a myth, they can lie in their CV, do not show up on interviews, or leave no information on their meeting cancellation., they are completely wrong. Large companies (and especially in the IT industry) use various systems supporting HR processes – these systems store applications and the history of contacts with the candidates. So if someone has a guilty conscience the system will definitely equip a recruiter with this knowledge. Therefore, if you have planned recruitment meetings and you have accepted an offer from some other company – inform the recruiters waiting for you – mail them, phone text. If anything happened to let them know – the meeting might be postponed. If there’s something you don’t know- admit it and ask.

You can go on a recruitment interview without preparation

This myth (because it is a myth) causes a great number of candidates lose their chances for employment. And we don’t mean strictly technical knowledge – as before the interview, the candidate is in fact not able to learn a lot. The more important is to have the knowledge of the company being applied for (in fact, the situation of the “unconscious” often happens), what were the expectations set out in the announcement, who we are meeting. Thanks to this, we can prepare, for example, a list of projects in which we participated, and implemented in Java and which can prove our usefulness in a given company or the project being applied for. You should also prepare questions for the recruiter – after all, the recruitment process is for both sides – not only the employer has their expectations – the candidate also has the right to check whether the offer “suits” them.

Is it necessary to conceal my financial expectations?

In my opinion, this is a pernicious strategy – it rarely happens that the remuneration is the first selection element. Recruiters want to find a good candidate who has specific skills and competencies. Of course, most companies have their own remuneration systems and specific “spread system for individual levels and types of positions, but that does not mean that it is impossible to negotiate.

Is graduating IT studies compulsory?

It’s almost a myth. In every IT company, there are people who are pure enthusiast and have never studied computer science. There are also positions that do not require IT knowledge. Nevertheless, good studies that enable acquiring basic knowledge do are always of value.

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