1. We want to meet you!
Successful recruiters are constantly looking to add people to their talent pools. The more people we are connected with on LinkedIn, the more people show up in our searches when we try to fill a position. We may not have a position for you at the moment, but we might get one in the future. A colleague could have one. We may move into a company that specializes in your field. We may be at a networking event and meet someone who is looking for someone just like you. Opportunities can be found in the most unexpected ways.
If you send a request with a respectful message in the field summing up your experience (or status if you are a student about to graduate), what kind of position you are looking for and that you would like to join our talent pool on LinkedIn, then your request will be accepted. If it isn’t, then that recruiter is either not active on LinkedIn (one of the Deadly Sins of recruiting) or they are not doing their job right.
2. Some of us run our company’s social media.
Before I began working in this industry, I had always figured that a big company’s marketing team ran their social media or that they hire it out to a marketing agency. However, I have learned that a lot of staffing agencies’ and recruitment firms’ social media is being done by their recruiters. I started building my former company’s social media presence when I was a recruiter. Even when my position changed, I was in constant contact with all of our recruiters because my desk stayed in the same room.
This means that you may be just a tweet or post away from an interview. Or someone who can get you in front of a recruiter.
I know one big, global recruitment firm whose Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts are managed by a voluntary committee of recruiters and sourcers who are interested in social media. So, send your favorite prospective employers a tweet saying something to the effect of “I’d love to join your team! I have 2 years experience as a [position you hold or have held that reflects the position you want, or the industry you are in if you want to change positions] Please review my @LinkedIn profile: [with a link to your profile].” I suggest sending your LinkedIn page rather than resume because on LinkedIn, they can connect with you, send you a message or download your resume from there if you had uploaded it. Your LinkedIn profile should match up with any information on your resume anyway.
Most recruiters have their own Twitter accounts, too. If you see that their tweets are professional rather than personal, follow them and then send them a tweet.
3. You will find people more helpful if you ask for information rather than favors.
Instead of asking someone to send your resume to the person in charge of hiring the kind of position you want to be considered for, ask if they know who that is. Chances are, they will ask for your resume and email it over themselves, but they will be more willing t o help you by giving you that person’s information. One time, I did this and not only did she send my resume, but she offered to answer any questions I had and help me prepare for my first phone interview (which I took her up on). All I asked for was the person’s name.
4. Usually, we can be found on LinkedIn.
Type the name of the company you want to work for into the search bar and click on the company page. Once you’re on the company page, there is a section called “How you’re connected” at the right. It also tells you how many employees are on LinkedIn. Click “see all.” At the left, there is a search section. Click “Advanced,” make sure “current company” has a checkmark and then type in keywords for recruiters one at a time (i.e. recruiter, recruitment, talent, sourcer, sourcing). If that company has internal recruiters, their profile will pop up. The same can be done for third-party recruiters as well. Just type in the name of the staffing agency or recruitment firm rather than the company you’d like to be placed at.
5. Check your grammar.
There is no situation in which poor grammar, slang or non-capitalized present you as a serious professional. Once a relationship is established, some recruiters and candidates feel comfortable adding an occasional smiley to their emails, but even that I would reserve for close coworkers.
6. Only give us references whom can provide us with insight into you as a professional.
Friends and family may sing your praises to high heaven, but that doesn’t help us. The references you give us (when we ask for them) should be coworkers, colleagues, bosses or clients. The only exception to this is if you are in school and have not held a job before. In that case, ask your favorite teachers or professors if they’d be willing to talk to us. As an educator, they know your work ethic, desire to learn, how you communicate, handle problems and how you interact with others which makes them great references if you do not have any professional ones.
7. We probably won’t call you on it, but we know when an excuse is not acceptable.
Even if you are telling the truth, cancelling an interview with less than 24 hours’ notice or not showing up is unacceptable. Some recruiters will reschedule, but that will always be in their minds. If another candidate comes along who is qualified and is respectful of other people’s schedules, we are going to change focus to them. Other recruiters may not even reschedule and just figure that your lack of preparation for the unexpected reflects a weakness that cannot be mended with a second chance. With that said, think of anything that can cause an issue. Call a neighbor or sitter and ask her if she will be available at the time of your interview in case your child gets sick. Plan an alternate route to the location of the interview in case there is an accident that causes a traffic jam. If it’s a phone interview, charge your a few hours before. Type the location into Google Maps, drag the person to the point on the map so you can see the street view and then look at what’s around the building so you can find it when it comes time to get there for your interview. You can also see where parking is.
8. We are more focused on your strengths than your weaknesses.
The reality is that you are often more concerned with your areas of weakness than we are. Unless it directly impacts your ability to perform the job we are looking to fill (e.g. a cashier not being a “people person” or a medic not knowing how to perform CPR), we are looking beyond the weakness itself.
For example, I have a hard time remembering information if I don’t interact with it. At any given time, I could have told you exactly where each of my job candidate was because I had been working with them and their files. However, I may forget something that was said in a meeting not even 30 minutes after. When asked in interviews, “What is your greatest weakness?” I added what I was doing to compensate and strengthen that weakness. In my case, I always take notes. For me, the physical act of writing down key points of the conversation helps me remember the information even if I never look at my notes again. It doesn’t hurt to have a written record of everything, either. I have also been reading up on short term memory and trying some strategies to improve mine.
Recruiters and hiring managers want to see how well you know yourself and that you are trying to strengthen your areas of weakness.
9. We are interested in your professional life, not your personal one.
It is the hiring manager’s job to ask about your interests or see if you would fit in with the company’s culture. My job is to find out if you have the skills, experience and passion for the position I am trying to fill. And then get you that interview with the hiring manager. The only outside-of-work information I need is that which affects your professional life. Do you have a car or reliable transportation to get to work every day? Are you planning a vacation or know of any days that you will need to take off? Have you ever been convicted of a crime? I’m not saying be a robot and don’t share your personality, but keep the personal information focused and to a minimum. I do not need to know that your Labrador hunted a bunny and you feel bad about it. Also to this point, do not call us by pet names like “babe,” or “honey.” It is inappropriate and frankly, a little offensive.
10. Keep us in the loop if you are planning to take time off.
If you are working with a third-party recruiter (someone from a staffing agency or recruitment firm who doesn’t work for the same company you are working for) and use our website to submit your weekly time card, we need to know if you are planning to take time off. It saves us a phone call later when we see a blank timecard.
11. We want you to follow up once or twice a week.
Unless we give you a specific day or time frame to follow up during the hiring process, give us a call or send us an email once or twice a week to check for interview feedback, ask about the next step, offer your help with unreachable references or employment records, etc. Once you are hired and working at the company, a monthly call or email is just fine.
photo by: emporiastateuni