In our last post, we talked about what a recruiter’s role is in the job search process, and why it benefits job seekers to work with a recruiter.
In the second part of this blog series, we are going to cover off on how to get found by a recruiter (important even if you aren’t actively seeking a new job) and how to work with a recruiter to be the most successful in your job search.
What Recruiters are Looking For:
How do you get "found" by a recruiter? Great question. There are lots of different ways a recruiter will search for you. Many large agencies are searching massive databases that your resume has been posted on. If you ever posted your resume at some point, no matter how out of date, you are still "searchable" in these databases. (And you probably still receive emails from time to time about random, non applicable jobs from Ladders, Indeed, Monster. Am I right?).
But more often than not these days, especially when you are a small recruiting agency like what I am a part of, we are doing a more manual search. One of the primary tools used to search for candidates is LinkedIn. (If you've ever been to one of my resume workshops, you'll hear me speak about the importance of LinkedIn). LinkedIn is essentially one giant professional database. So like any database, the searches are based off of specific keywords.
(Another spoiler alert - you really want to pay attention to this next part!).
One of the biggest challenges I come across when searching for candidates, are incomplete LinkedIn profiles. So many people only have their job title, maybe a brief bio, and past titles and employers listed (with no job or experience details listed!). This is one of the biggest reasons your profile will be overlooked by a recruiter. This would essentially be like sending your resume to a potential employer that didn't list anything specific to your work experience. You wouldn't do that! On your resume, in addition to company name and job title, you'd list things you've accomplished, what your role was responsible for, what skills you have, what softwares you use, etc. LinkedIn should be a replica of all of that information (if not even more information!). The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can include so much more than what is on your resume, so I am baffled by profiles that list almost nothing.
For example, if I am searching for a Marketing Manager, who has specific experience managing SEO/SEM, and experience with Hubspot and Salesforce- and a profile only shows "Marketing Manager for X company" - that profile will quickly be overlooked for one matching the key words we are looking for.
So it behooves you to include as much detail in your LinkedIn profile as you have, to make yourself as searchable as possible.
Working with a Recruiter:
So now a recruiter has reached out to you about a possible opportunity, and you are interested. What's next? This is where the screening process will begin.
The first key thing a recruiter will ask of you is for an updated resume and portfolio or website (if applicable). You'll want to send this along as quickly as possible. There most likely are other candidates in the mix and so the sooner you can get yourself in front of the company the better.
The next step will be a screening call to get to know more about you, your work history, what you are looking for - essentially vetting whether or not you and this open job are the right fit. Surprisingly, this is one thing that I've come across with a lot of candidates not understanding - but please know, this is an interview. It's not necessarily quite as formal as if you were meeting directly with the company, but remember, this recruiter is your gateway to getting an interview with the company. So you still need to step up and impress. The best advice I can give here, is to treat it like you would any interview:
Dress the part (especially if it's a video call)
Be prepared to answer questions about your work history and experience (if you can't articulate these things to me, you can bet I will not be willing to submit you to the client).
Be prepared to talk about salary expectations. This is uncomfortable. No one likes to have this conversation. But I can guarantee that it will be asked. The biggest reason is because the recruiter is also trying to ensure you fit within the company's budget for this role. I've definitely run into scenarios where I've talked to candidates who were great, but their salary expectations were way outside what the client was offering. So unfortunately we had to pass on them. (*However, a nice bonus here for you - is you don't have to worry about this dreaded conversation in the actual interview with the company. We cover it up front and make salary expectations known to the company when we submit you).
Send a thank you. Remember - this is an actual interview. Just like you would send thank you's to anyone at a company you interview with, make sure you thank the recruiter as well.
From here, if the recruiter feels you are a good fit, they will submit you to the company. The specifics are little different in each situation from there, but generally speaking the next steps would be moving through the interview process, then the offer process, to hiring. Your recruiter, especially if they take a relational approach to their process, should be with you every step of the way.
All in all, working with a recruiter can be a very effective approach to your job search process. Please remember, that it is just one avenue in your job search, and is no guarantee to land you a job. You need to be proactive in your own search as well. But it doesn’t hurt to have a champion in your corner either. ;)
Also, a recruiter, while trying to make you the most successful in your job search is not your career coach. Some people don’t interview well, or really need to overhaul their resumes. The recruiter will not do this for you. I highly recommend a coaching session before you reach out to any recruiter to make sure all your skills are up to snuff.
If you are interested in our coaching services or recruiting services, please contact us!