There’s a Misconception, That You Need a Degree: ‘SPOILER’ It’s Not True - Recruiter Interviews Jeff H Sipe

By Chamira Gamage

Another week, another Talentwolf Recruiter Interview! Today, we are joined by Jeff H Sipe. Jeff's recruitment career spans over 10 years, having spent 5 years at Google's corporate headquarters. He has started his own consulting business,, where he provides recruitment, job coaching services, including negotiation, tailored resume tips and post weekly on his Youtube channel. Plenty of nuggets to takeaway in this week's interview and make sure to connect with Jeff afterwards. Happy Friday and happy reading! 

As always, we start off with how you fell or actively got into the recruitment industry! Jeff, what’s your story? 

Very similar to most people, I kind of fell into it. I had a friend in Boston, I was living in Boston at the time who had been recruiting for a couple of years and he recommended that I should potentially give it a shot and I was trying to move to San Diego. I got an interview in San Diego. I flew out, flew back home to Boston, they offered me the job and I packed up my car and headed west. Very similar to other people, I had a little bit of a background in sales and I really liked working with people. So I thought it was a great transition and ended up working out pretty good for my career.

Having worked in internal recruitment for Google over many years, have any hiring techniques or practices stuck with you long-term?

It's really about connectivity with candidates and doing what's in their best interest. Always looking out for them, operating from a place of high trust, high honesty and always want to do what's in their best interest. And sometimes the job you have isn't in their best interest. Sometimes making the move isn't the right move for them. Sometimes just giving them really honest feedback about their performance, but always putting the candidate first I think is absolutely critical.

What’s one piece of career advice you’d go back in time and tell yourself when starting your first job?

A piece of career advice if I could go back in time and tell myself during the first job. I would really tell myself to hold myself accountable for everything. To be responsible for everything. You can only control what you can control and you can't control everything. And so, really recognizing and understanding that there are many things that are outside of your control and to operate only within the realm that you can control and within that realm, you can change and always get better.

After starting up your own recruitment and job coaching company -, what tips do you pass on to job seekers to ensure their resume stands out amongst the crowd?

Tips that I would pass on to ensure that job seekers resume stand out. Number one for me, and this is a deal-breaker and really the one item you need to know is a bulleted summary with specific details for the role that they're applying for, interviewing for. You only have a few seconds to impress. Without a bulleted summary, you're just not going to gather and get the attention of the recruiter or hiring manager you're trying to attract.

Trying to create a funky resume or doing a unique format, we have learned to read in a certain way from the time we were very young and so forth. If we have to search for the information, as recruiters or hiring managers, we're just going to move on. Create a very strategic bulleted summary and then I want to see a mix of job responsibilities and accomplishments. I don't want to see just accomplishments. I have to know what you were doing in that job. That's my second recommendation and maybe a little bit different from what some other people say. But keep it simplistic. The simpler it is, the easier it is to read and the more likely you are to get a reach out.

What’s the most satisfying moment of your recruitment career?

The most satisfying moment of my recruitment career was hands down getting the job at Google. It was validation of years of hard work and being a good interviewer, which I always kind of had been, but it was the validation of hard work. And then I think as a secondary is I started there as a contractor, so I had to prove myself and I absolutely proved myself and re-interviewed and had to get the job again basically. And so, hands down for me that was the most rewarding part of my career.

We all have moments where we learn from mistakes and become far better at our jobs after. Is there any moment in your career that taught you how to be a better recruiter?

We all learn from mistakes and what has taught me to be a better recruiter, I had a really good one at Google. It was early on and I was going through the conversion process. Going to the interviews and they were analyzing whether I was a recruiter that they wanted to move forward with and hire full-time. I missed a call with a vice president's referral twice. The greatest lesson that I learned from this was, before I calendar anything, I actually schedule it in my calendar and then I hit send on the email, then I confirm. That level of organization, just that one little detail, I haven't missed an appointment since because I always default to this step. I can't actually hit send, I can't hang up the phone until it's in my calendar because my calendar is the source of my truth.

Tech has been and will continue to be a hot and growing industry to join, but of course, this makes it more competitive at the same time. What tips do you give prospective job seekers who are passionate about getting into the tech industry?

Tips for people in tech and are passionate about tech resources. The resources now are unbelievable. You can learn how to code online, you can learn how to do anything online if you're motivated enough and there really isn't an excuse. I think there's this misconception that you need a degree or an advanced degree. It's not true. I hired software engineers at Google who did not have a degree. They were self-taught. And just you know, those people are rare, but it does exist and you can do it. Believe in yourself if you're passionate about it. It doesn't have to be engineering, it could be any area of tech, but the resources are there. The online tools are amazing. A lot of them are free. And by the way, the stuff you pay for, if you pay for it, you'll be more connected to it and probably willing to work a little harder because you paid for it.

Everyone has a recruitment story. What is the most unexpected thing that happened to you in an interview or client meeting?

What's the most unexpected thing that's happened in an interview or a client meeting? There are so many. I think the biggest item I can say here is expect the unexpected. And if you listen well and you pause and you take your time before responding, whatever that is, whether it's positive, indifferent, negative, you'll always respond in a really good way if you're thoughtful and you've been practising active listening. I've had many unexpected things happen in my career, but when I take the time to pause and think about what's being said and not be reactive, I think that's really worked well for me. I really appreciate getting the opportunity to provide a little bit of my background and I hope some of this information helps. Thanks so much and have a fantastic day.

Connect with Jeff H Sipe