Most people know how to do their job. But when they hit the streets looking for their next job they land in unfamiliar territory. And dealing effectively with recruiters can be a challenge. They don’t know what is expected or what mistakes to avoid.
In this article I polled my LinkedIn network for insights directly from the recruiters’ mouths. Here’s what they say.
You’re interested in a company, find a Recruiter from that company on LinkedIn, and decide to send them a personal message.
I’ve been reviewing and responding to hundreds of those (still backlogged) in the last week.
Here are some tips and observations.
1) Say Hello (kind of shocking that needs to be said)
2) Don’t write “Hi Steve” and wait for me to respond as if we’re in a chat room.
3) Message should be four sentences max…not multiple paragraphs or whole resumes.
Sentence 1: Greeting and personal reference.
Sentences 2 and 3: Highlight of relevant experience/skills (also helpful to reference a particular job opening).
Sentence 4: The Ask and closing.
But what should you ask the Recruiter for? This is likely your FIRST contact. Don’t ask for phone conversations, career advice, resume tips, or other general requests. Almost always dead ends. Ask for one thing: “Can I send you my resume for review via email?”
1) Easy for Recruiter to quickly respond with their email address.
2) Resume can easily be forwarded and shared with other Recruiters.
3) Resume should be loaded into company’s tracking system and tagged for future reference. Certainly no guarantees, but best to start simple. Let Recruiters see/shop your resume before you ask for more.
I had a candidate for an entry level role that was extremely excited about the position. I scheduled a phone screen with the manager for the candidate, which went very well. She was then set up for a face to face interview with the manager, but “no showed”.
I waited a couple of days to call her and when I finally reached her she told me she had over slept. This is not the end of the world but a responsible person would call the manager, she did not; or call me, she did not.
There will always be someone who does not return calls as quickly as you would like them to. This can indicate lack of interest, or that someone is truly busy.
The one thing I learned a long time ago was never assume. You can educate someone but you cannot guarantee that they will listen.
A good recruiter realizes that not everyone has great communication skills. It is our job to learn how to deal successfully with different people. There will always be a person who changes their mind and walks away without an explanation. Its part of the business.
Here are a few hints that would help both parties [recruiter and candidate] achieve the desired outcome (finding the right job/candidate quickly)
Update your resume.
I may contact you via LinkedIn and conduct the phone interview off your LI profile but my client will want a resume to review.
Responding on LinkedIn
When replying back on LinkedIn, please include your phone number and email. That allows me to get a Job Description in your hands and start the process of scheduling a phone interview quickly.
Working with Another Recruiter
If you have been approached by another recruiter or you have applied directly for the position please let the recruiter know.
Job Not a Fit
If the job is not a fit, please send me your resume for future openings. 25% of my placements this year were with candidates I talked to last year.
Help Your Network Out
If you know someone who would fit the position get them connected to the recruiter. Networking pays forward!
Don’t always rely on your recruiter to initiate communication. It’s okay to be persistent in following up with your recruiter though it is best to establish expectations up front.
For example, ask your recruiter how often you should follow up with him/her. Once/week is usually about right but each scenario is different so establish this upfront.
The reason this is important is that successful recruiters are extremely busy and juggle multiple candidates at a time. Naturally, the candidates with whom the recruiter has had recent communications tend to be fresh on the mind when a new opportunity arises.
Do: Be reliable. Get back to your recruiter in a timely manner. Time can be of the essence when pursuing opportunities.
Do: Be transparent and honest at all times. If you are dealing with a good recruiter, they should automatically possess these traits and it is most likely the secret behind their success. The candidate/recruiter relationship is like any other relationship in which establishing and maintaining trust is key-critical to the success of the relationship. If you do not deal with your recruiter in an honest fashion, it will decrease your attractiveness as a candidate and limit your opportunities with that recruiter. It’s ok to tell your recruiter you have other opportunities. We expect you to.
Whether you’re actively working with a recruiter right now or will be in the future, these are some good things to remember. Landing a job is a challenge enough without torpedoing your chances through a misstep with a recruiter.
Are you in the job hunt now? Or preparing for one? Contact me today to see how I can help you.