This article made me rethink a couple of things as I am currently looking to fill a couple of very different requirements. Filling positions is often times as much about educating candidates as it is telling them about job openings, This article is full of good ideas for candidates to follow, but more importantly I think recruiters should get inside the mind of a candidate and figure out how to educate their target audience to do these things, My thoughts are the ones in Bold Italics.
1. Know What You Can Do. Recruiters are NOT mind readers! We have absolutely no idea what you want to do if you don’t have any idea! Simply picking up the phone and calling us to “help find a job” is NOT going to help us. We are happy to strategize with you, talk about your previous employment, what you’re good at and what you’ve accomplished, but we need YOU to tell us these things. A “master resume” that holds all your information and can be edited for different companies and positions is very helpful. This is so important. I am constantly reminded trainees and candidates to tailor fit resumes. Most people just like to mass send the same one because they don’t have any kind of appreciation for the fact that their resume looks almost identical to everyone else’s resume.
2. Be Easy To Find And Contact. It’s not all about applying to jobs, though that’s part of it. Do you know how much time the average recruiter spends on LinkedIn? We don’t either, but we’re willing to bet it’s a LOT. If a recruiter comes across your profile and there is no indication of how to get in touch with you, we’re likely to move on to the next candidate. Active job seekers should seriously consider how VISIBLE they want to be to the recruiters that are looking for them. Create a separate “work” email for your job search. This is no brainer. If you aren’t easy to contact then you are probably pretty much impossible to coach.
3. Follow The Process. Understand that for compliance reasons, we may ask you to do silly things like “send a resume” or “apply to this job”. We will do EVERYTHING in our power to make the process easy, smooth, and with a definitive result. We, however, can’t just set up an interview without some routine legwork. Indeed. You have to follow instructions, if there are a 100 job applicants for a position, but only half follow the directions, its easy to screen out the other 50. And if you are one of the one who didn’t follow directions you get screened out no matter how much you are a perfect fit for the job itself. For recruiters, this means making directions simple and easy to follow.
4. Try To Be Flexible. How bad do you really want the job? We know you are busy and you probably have a very important job. We will try to accommodate as much as we can, but sometimes the accommodations can’t be met. Managers and Recruiters are busy also and if you make yourself totally unavailable at odd times, chances are, we will find another candidate before connecting with you. This one kills me. Job seekers who set their own pace doom themselves. But for recruiters, it is worth the extra time for a reminder text or a broadcast e-mail with the process, things to keep the recruitment process top of mind.
5. Respect Space & Time. Try not to be a stalker. A good recruiter will set expectations with you. We should clearly articulate when you should be hearing back from us. If we set a time to talk in an initial phone screen, be on time. Don’t follow up with 15 phone calls and e-mails trying to reschedule if you have missed your opportunity. We understand things happen, but if it happens again, we have long forgotten about you. I don’t really see this one too much, most job applicants are pretty much in fire and forget mode, which for job seekers who do follow up.. they have a huge advantage. Encourage follow-ups!
6. Sending Random LinkedIn Invites to Recruiters Does Not Work We both receive countless LinkedIn invites a week. Yes we are connected. Yes we work at big companies. No, it will not help you to randomly connect with us. If you do send us an invite, GIVE US A REASON. Chances are we are recruiting a totally different skillset than you have so we wouldn’t be able to help you anyway. We might, however, be able to introduce you to other recruiters who are looking for someone just like you. Help us by telling us what and who you’re looking for! It has to be personal on both ends… recruiters can’t treat candidates like the are all the same and candidates should personalize every connection they make with recruiters. It takes time, but shouldn’t you spend a little extra time on the job request? What’s 5 extra minutes to make something unique and memorable when you are talking about job commitments that could be years in length?
7. Research The Company And The Position So often candidates are completely unprepared. Take some time to ask as many questions as you need to understand the role that you are interviewing for with your recruiter. Understand the organization. Understand the goals. Understand their backgrounds. Understand the direction of the company and how you will fit into the equation. When in doubt – ASK YOUR RECRUITER. Wow. Anybody who goes to a job interview not having researched the company is an idiot. And any recruiter who has not reviewed the resume before the interview and checked out the previous experience/education is a fool.
8. During The Interview Process, Don’t Apply To Another Role Until Process Is Complete Simply put, if you are working with a recruiter and have applied and interviewing for a specific role don’t ask about 4 different roles within the company. This just shows your lack of interest, or lack of confidence in the role in which you are interviewing. If you are working with multiple recruiters at a huge company, it is okay to talk, but just make sure everything is transparent. There can be exceptions to this, for example Amy’s multiple Program Manager reqs. It may make sense to talk about multiple positions across different teams, especially when 90% of the roles need the same skillset and experience. Just don’t try to be an Accounting Clerk and a Forklift Driver at the same time. Not exactly the same skill sets, even if you can do both. Hmmm… not sure I agree with this one. Its a nice idea, but when you need a job you get forced into the shotgun approach.
9. Ask For Feedback, But Accept What We Can (And Can’t) Provide. Sometimes the only thing we can tell you is that someone else was more qualified. Sometimes that’s all WE know. It could be someone had an MBA vs just a BS. The other candidate may have gone to a “better” school, or worked for a bigger company… Feedback on things you cannot change may not be helpful. Yes, continue the conversation, one both sides. Candidates need to figure out how to do better next time and recruiters need to do more to help near hires become hires. You’ve already both invested a lot of time in each other, so don’t waste it by just moving on to another blank slate… figure out who to evolve together!
10. Don’t Shoot The Messenger. Remember we are often the conduit between you and the real authority, the Hiring Manager. That doesn’t mean we don’t have influence, and can’t persuade the manager to take a chance (or not) on you. The interview and certainly hiring decisions tend to rest solely with the manager or team who will have to work with you. If the answer is “no”, we’re disappointed too. Yes, yes, yes! A no now doesn’t generally mean a no forever… again from both perspectives, you’ve invested time and energy in each other… don’t just throw it all away and move on and start all over from scratch again.