The "Pinocchio" Candidate
We all know the popular novel about the cute wooden puppet, who was infamous for embellishing the truth. His name was Pinocchio. Every time Pinocchio would tell a lie or fib to someone, his nose grew. Eventually his nose got so big that he created a reputation for himself as a dishonest puppet.
No one likes a "Pinocchio", therefore when working with a recruiter you have to be completely forthcoming with them. A recruiter is your advocate. They're on your side but as soon as you throw a curve ball their way, it creates a sense of doubt, to a point that they'll question themselves on whether or not they should continue to represent you.
When a recruiter asks you about your current salary, it's not because they are nosy or want to one-up you. Knowing a candidate's salary and overall compensation package, such as; bonuses, over-time, on-call and benefits, gives the recruiter leverage to negotiate on your behalf when it comes time for a client to present an offer to you. Also, just as much as you don't like your time to be wasted, they don't either. Once you have disclosed your current salary, your recruiter will be able to narrow their job search in terms of compensation. In addition, they'll be able to facilitate the clients offer to you by letting them know, "Yes, my candidate will most likely entertain this offer" or "No, my candidate is currently making that in salary and most likely will not accept the offer". This is where your recruiter can begin the negotiating process. Nothing is worse when a client asks the recruiter what their candidate is currently making and they can't give them an answer. The recruiter loses credibility and so do you.
Keep in mind, that so many companies these days are using third party vendors for their on-boarding screening process. This means that they will confirm your salary with each employer, as well as ask for tax returns. I can't begin to tell you how many times I have seen candidates blow an amazing opportunity for telling a white lie.
I call these candidates, "Pinocchio's". Most recruiters believe that if they lie about their salary, education, certifications, skills or reason why they were either terminated from a company or left at their free will, what else will they lie about? It's very hard for a recruiter to be your "evangelist ", when they themselves are doubting you.
If you have any gaps in your resume, it is very important to explain why you were not working during those times. We all understand that things happen in life which can cause one to have to cease from working or perhaps a change in the job market, such as, lay-off's. Whatever the reason may be, your recruiter must know about it so that they can relay it immediately to the client when asked.
Being in the midst of a job search can be frustrating, but it doesn't have to be that way if you have an open and trusting relationship with your recruiter and vice versa. Remember, no one likes a "Pinocchio" in fiction or in real life, and when it comes to partnering up with a recruiter to assist you in your job search, honesty will always get you further.