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I have been recruiting for the past 16 years and within the pharmaceutical industry for the past 11 years. I thought I had become familiar with just about all the acronyms: GLP, GCP, IND, NDA until I read an article specific to the recruiting industry that made reference to T.A.L*. I could not help but to read on to find out what T.A.L represented. I then researched on the frequency of T.A.L to find it very common within the recruiting sector. I also never knew how often I was victim to T.A.L.

I have personally witnessed first- hand T.A.L more than once and sometimes several times throughout a week when speaking with prospective candidates. I have listened to other recruiters tell their stories about T.A.L and I just never knew why it occurred. As recent as last week, one of my colleagues emailed me about T.A.L and wanted to know if candidates did so out of desperation.

And that is the reason for this article. If it is desperation then candidates are obviously not familiar with the recruiting process and should really get educated so to avoid T.A.L. T.A.L typically occurs at the time recruiters ask their potential candidates if they have applied to and or been represented by another search firm to a particular client. It can also occur if asked, “have you posted your resume on the client website or posted to a job board?” Have you figured it out yet? Do you now know what T.A.L stands for? Within the world of recruiters, T.A.L is short for “They All Lie.” But why, is the question. There is no reason to lie to your recruiter. You need to understand that your recruiter, with whom you trust your resume, is potentially going to change your life. They are going to be the catalyst that drives your career. They are your career coach and for some, their life coach. So why would you lie to them? You are not being considerate of their time and or resources they can truly provide to you. Do you not think that the client will not check their system to respond that your resume has been presented 15 times in the past 3 months by 5 firms and that you posted your resume twice yourself this past week. And guess what. The answer will remain the same. They are not interested. Lying to a recruiter in hopes that they can make a difference is much less effective than being honest and professional from the start. Not only will it save the recruiter and Human Resources time and energy, it will save your reputation. Always remember that although our industry seems so very vast, it is very small and well connected. So please, do your best to avoid T.A.L. The best way is to keep a log. Keep detailed records of the date, time and position for which you either directly applied or had a recruiter present you for a job. Take down all of the recruiter’s contact information and follow up to receive feedback. Do not mass email your resume or post randomly to job boards for you will not be able to track your resumes whereabouts.

Published in  November 12, 2006