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I am a recent college graduate. I recently interviewed for a Software Developer position. I really like the environment. I got offers from other places but this place just feels really comfortable for me, I am familiar with the frameworks that they are using.

Recently, recruiter told me that the team might think that I am a little under qualified. They want someone with a 1-2 year experience now. They are interviewing others with that experience. But I really want this job.

I emailed the recruiter that I am willing to do what ever it takes to get this job. I don't mind spending lots of extra time to increase the pace of my learning. I really like that environment and that position.

But I think he is out of town. Is it Ok email the manager and tell them about how I feel. I will be willing to do what ever it takes to make this work. I.E take couple of thousand less, or spend extra time.

Like I said, I got offers from other places but this place jut feels right and comfortable for me. They got everything I need.

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closed as off topic by gnat, William Shakespeare, Jim G., Walter, ChrisF May 17 '12 at 21:02

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Take what recruiters say with a grain of salt. A recruiters true interest is themselves and the commission they make, not your interest. You offer less money, the recruiter will view that as a threat to his commission, plus you should never offer less money anyway. Direct conversation with the manager will raise red flags with the recruiter, and he will work against you. –  Bill Jun 17 '11 at 15:49

11 Answers 11

up vote 34 down vote accepted

Do not offer to take less money. If money is the issue, they will come to you about it, don't put the idea in their heads. And you realistically can't offer to cut enough to address their concern. Their concern is that you'll suck up a bunch of time from a more experienced programmer. That person is paid more than you, and costs them even more than that. (The average employee costs about double that person's salary once you get through benefits, workspace, equipment, etc, etc, etc.) Because of that they are already offering you a lot less than they would an experienced programmer, and you simply can't be paid less enough to make up the difference if they encounter the problem they are scared about.

However it would be very reasonable to come to them with the idea that you really like the position, and would be willing to put in extra effort to make it work. That shows enthusiasm and addresses their main concern - that you'll be a net drag for some time.

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+1, absolutely - never take less money than they're prepared to pay. Make up the shortfall in effort, not wages. Your effort will be worth more to them long-term than a couple of grand a year. –  Town Jun 17 '11 at 15:34

Typically a day or two after an interview at a place that I liked I will email the manager thanking him for giving me the opportunity to visit with him and the company. I will do this regardless if a recruiter hooked us up in the first place.

I feel that this is a courtesy and is acceptable so I do not see why your case would be any different. If I were you I would lead with the courtesy thank you and follow up stating that you have had other offers but would really like to come work for him, and then bring up everything unique about what you have to offer, everything you stated above.

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I already sent a thank you note, this one will be different. –  user23838 Jun 17 '11 at 14:26
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I was thinking more about this and the longer you wait for a distant "maybe" the more opportunities you let pass you by. Job offers have an expiration date. –  maple_shaft Jun 17 '11 at 14:33
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I am willing to be patient, I just declined an offer. I want to work in the right environment that will help me grow and will help me in the future. I'm not too worried about getting the job immediately. –  user23838 Jun 17 '11 at 14:46

You're showing your motivation so I believe it's a good thing. But be cautious to not sound "desesperate" like if it was your only option.

Apart from that, you should consider they are right when they think they need someone with experience. If it's the case, it won't be the job you're dreaming about.

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As someone who has done hiring, I'm going to point out that if they interviewed recent grads and decided they needed more experience and have gone to the trouble to find a new group of people to interview, it really is because they don't think from the interviews that any of the people they looked at can handle the job as it structured. I've never done a second round of interviews (especially with revised qualifications) unless nobody in the first round was going to work out for me. In this case the manager probaly had to go to a lot of trouble to send out a new request with a differnt experience qualification, get a higher salary approved for someone with more experience, review a bunch of new resumes and set up interviews. I think your chances are low of getting hired here until you get some experience.

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It is definitely OK to email the manager (and copy the agent in on it), and saying pretty much what you said in your post here. As Louhike said, make sure you don't sound desperate. You might want to include that you have other offers, without going into too much detail.

Whether or not that will do the trick is up that manager. He is the sole judge of whether your initiative is what he is looking for or whether he really needs the experience, or whether he can accept a tradeoff between the two. I wouldn't offer to accept a lower salary. People with more experience are usually more expensive that graduates anyway, and he will know that and appreciate it. But maybe you can outline other things you can bring to the party. Skills that were not touched upon during the interview?

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+1, Yes and its probably also important to note that if you let him know how invested you are into this opportunity, if he was a good guy he would let you know pretty quickly if you were no longer being considered. –  maple_shaft Jun 17 '11 at 15:16

If your other offers are willing to wait, then definitely be patient and at least get a yes or no answer from the company you like the best. You know you have other offers on the table, so what's there to lose?

To answer the question about contacting the manager: do it. I heard this advice from many people while I was searching for internships; don't let the recruiter dictate your chances by being on vacation or just being a slack recruiter in general. If you have been given the manager's contact information, and he or she is the person you'll be working under once you take this job, then definitely don't keep them in the dark about how you feel. You have no idea what information the recruiter is passing on to the person who will ultimately make the decision, so if you have the opportunity to contact them and speak with them directly - be it via email or a quick phone call - then don't miss the opportunity. It can never hurt to follow up; the contact itself - if not oppressive of course - will help enforce how much you want the job. Also, make sure they know you have other offers on the table, even if you have little to no interest in them.

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I emailed the recruiter that I am willing to do what ever it takes to get this job

That's like rising big red flag.

take couple of thousand less, or spend extra time.

Even bigger red flag. You have just shown to recruiter, that you don't value yourself. As he doesn't really know why, he will assume the worst. He will assume that you're desperate, because you actually are under-qualified.

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I don't mind spending lots of extra time to increase the pace of my learning.

When does this stop? If you start making lots of hours from the start, when are you going to go back to "normal" hours? Once you set expectations they're hard to get rid of.

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I would tread lightly on this situation. You'll see many, many openings for developers with experience.

If you have something within reach that will hire you right out of school and you feel comfortable with it, I strongly suggest you go for it in order to get yourself into a better position.

Personally, I graduated with an MA in mathematics and it took years to get my first decent position (at which I am now in my third year). However, were I to lose my job today, I would feel much better about looking for my second job that I felt about looking for the first.

Plan ahead; don't live on autopilot the way I did :-/

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You owe absolutely nothing to recruiters, so make sure you look after yourself first.

As wolfgangsz says, emailing the manager is a matter of courtesy rather than recruitment politics. If you really want to work there then building a good relationship with the company is better than a good relationship with the recruiter.

Recruitment agencies are ten-a-penny - good companies are not.

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I have burned by so many recruiters at this point I do not even reply to them. Of course I also have a job and those who do talk to me are from before my resume was taken down. –  Ramhound Aug 4 '11 at 13:05

I'm in a similar situation and probably made some mistakes wrt to the job I actually want.

It's not the end of the world. Go get 1-2 years of experience and try again if you still want it.

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