When Is Assertive Too Assertive?

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We have all been taught to be assertive in the search/interview process, and particularly to use those assertive skills to get in the door. But I think some candidates confuse being courteously assertive with actually being pushy and presumptous.

When we open our network to receive resumes for positions we can easily get 500 or more submittals. As professional recruiters we are looking at each resume to see if the requirements our client has given us are there, and if the resume is polished and presentable. After that, we are looking for professional business communications and someone we would like to work with. The candidates that write something like “I am really interested in this job and if you believe my qualifications are a fit, I would love to visit with you at your convenience”, go to the top of the pile. The candidates that write “I know my qualifications are perfect for the role, and I will call you to get more details on the job, and set up an in-person interview” are generally placed at the bottom of the pile. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for assertiveness in the search process, but an appropriate amount of modesty and courtesy go a long way to a recruiter tasked with the job of looking at hundreds of resumes to find the right fit for h/her client.


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