A recruiter starts work every morning with one objective – find the best candidate for her client and fill the open position FAST. A candidate hunting for a job wakes up with this thought – may today be the day when I land my dream job. Notice the similarity between the two objectives – so why not work together with MUTUAL RESPECT to achieve this common goal? You may have been contacted by recruiters many times, whether you are looking for a job or not, and you may or may not have been interested by what she had to offer. How did that conversation go? I have a feeling – not very well most of the times. And if I ask the same question to a recruiter, she would also say the same. Surprise – a recruiter is a person too! And is a useful person to cultivate, an useful relationship to nurture – not just when you are changing jobs but also when you are not so you are prepared (Per stats, today, the average person changes jobs ten to fifteen times (with an average of 11 job changes) during his or her career).
So today’s post is from the view point of a recruiter for the job-hunting candidate. She wants you to succeed because in your success lies her success. And she has a few expectations from you, the potential hire, so that the common goal of a win-win job hunt for both can be reached. So here is how you can help her help you:
1) Craft a complete resume: Your profile should be tailored for you – please skip the long sentences with all the nice-looking buzz words. A recruiter will spend a maximum of 30 seconds to determine if your profile is suitable. Be direct and prepare your resume in such a way that your qualifications, skills and achievements are searchable and stand out. Link to your work portfolios or online profiles (Social media links, About.me, etc.) or blogs so that there is an additional outside reference to your skills. Here are some myth-busting tips on resumes in the infographic alongside brought to you by the team at Almagreta Resume Templates.If you are not sure about your resume and need another set of eyes on it before you ship, send it to us at Contact@oorjabizops.com and we will review it for you (for free).
2) Be Visible: Update your profile regularly. A resume should always be a work-in-progress document and have your latest details – your latest contact details (make sure your email id is a professional one by the way – firstname.lastname@example.org is a sure reject in the first 5 seconds of a resume review), your years of experience, your preferred job location/s, new skills all help the recruiter shortlist your candidature quickly. Regular updates also help keep your profile on the top of search results in job boards. Create a separate folder in your mail box for achievements and drag those appreciation mails and promotion letters in there – big help to jog your memory if you are one of those people who update their resumes once in five years or maybe a decade.
3) Be Responsive: The common courtesy rule: treat people the way you would want to be treated – applies with recruiters as well. Respond please – to emails, to calls – even if it is a no, thank you. If you are busy, a short email or text stating your available times (even when it is “please don’t contact me ever”) will save the recruiter time and not keep her hanging. If you do give a time slot, plan ahead and be available – being late for an interview is just not done. If you can’t attend, please do inform in advance so you don’t keep a bunch of people waiting. Professionalism pays. And being nice pays as well.
4) Be Honest – Know what you want. Think it through before committing yourself. If you are not clear about what path to take on your career or what step to take next, be upfront and discuss this with the recruiter. She will respect this and may be able to provide you with options or opportunities that work for you. Nothing is more frustrating to her than last minute surprises – if you are not interested, just say so. If you are not ready for the interview – say it, her information and insights can help you prepare for it If you have another offer (a promotion, another job) – say it, it may help you get a better offer. If you don’t want to join after accepting the offer, say it – don’t wait for the day of joining and not turn up. You waste everyone’s time and energy (including yours) not to mention the chances of another candidate like you who could be assessed instead.
5) Engage – Network with recruiters. If you have had bad experiences with one recruiter, don’t lump the rest in the same bucket. Find the recruiters who work in your industry and who understand your career goals and reach out. Keep in touch. Build a relationship – this is one person you need in your corner when you are looking out for a career change. Keep track of the recruiter and through her, her clients, just like she is keeping track of you. Refer your friends. Find out about hiring trends and upcoming opportunities from her. Give value and get value back – this can definitely be a mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe you don’t need a job now, but she could open up a few doors for you when you do need one. P.S: You can start by engaging with me and my team at Oorja Biz Ops on Facebook and LinkedIn :)
I have been on the other side of the fence as well for fourteen years and have my pet peeves on recruiters – lack of responsiveness and forthrightness, cookie-cutter approach and more. I am sure you do as well. But I think mutual respect can be key to a great relationship and a successful story here much like in every other relationship. What do you think? Whether you are a recruiter or a job-seeker, I would love to hear back and learn from you. Share your stories. Share your experiences. Share your tips.