Should I change based on what the HR person told me?

Yes and no.

Human Resource people are phenomenal.  They are almost always honest.  However, they are human. An HR recruiter who is sorting through 100 resumes each day, scheduling 30 appointments for herself this week, and 50 appointments for managers, may cut corners.  You call and ask, “Why won’t you interview me?” She has no clue who you are and merely pops your name into the database to be sure you are a reject, then replies, “You just didn’t match what we were looking for.”

In reality you may have been a perfect match but the receptionist rejected your resume.  The HR person never saw it. She needs to get back to work and you are an interruption.  If you can get your resume into the manager’s hands some other way, you might be interviewed.

At another company where you have been through three interviews, you eventually get a reject letter.  You call up HR and ask, “Why?”  She may have been told the real reason. She may remember.  In all likelihood she pops your name into the database and sees the box checked, “Other hired.”  She racks her brain, remembers that the winning candidate had two certifications and tells you, “You weren’t as qualified as the person we hired.”  No revelations there, really.  She never talked to the manager about you, only about when the winner starts.

Even when the HR person remembers you personally she often does not have good feedback.  I always pump HR for information.  I trust the best to know exactly what is going on.  I always ask myself if this HR person really had the time to get involved with my candidate.

HR people rarely lie.  They are honest and hardworking.  Often they just don’t know the details you may want to hear from them.

Something to do today

Ask HR for feedback, but don’t put too much emphasis on what they say unless they give you a lot of details relevant only to you.

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Later: Should I trust an agency recruiter?

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