Ever wonder what it’s like to be a recruiter? Taking the perspective of someone who has many positions to fill can help you tailor your professional materials, behaviors, and preparation in application for a new opportunity. Here are a few insights into the recruiter’s mindset:
Recruiters WANT to fill the position. They would love for you to be the right candidate. Make their jobs easy and put a smile on their faces from the moment they begin to review your materials.
Halfway efforts won’t get you very far. Your level of enthusiasm will show in your materials or your interview. If you do not really care about the position, perhaps it’s not worth your time to apply. If you make a good impression even though you’re not a perfect fit for a position, a recruiter may share your materials with hiring managers for other positions in the company.
Below are eight tips that will help a recruiter move your application forward to the next stage:
1. Write a cover letter.
It should include specific details about your qualifications and skills. Explain why you are interested in the company and position. Everyone is a “quick learner” and “great with people,” so provide evidence of relevant skills.
2. Anticipate questions.
Recruiters do not have the time to do any guesswork and can easily spot problem areas such as gaps in experience. Address these potential questions in your cover letter and/or resume.
3. List relevant work experience.
Relevant experience is cited in many studies as the number one factor, or one of the top factors, employers seek in the perfect job candidate. It is wonderful that you have “great attention to detail.” But the recruiter wants to know, “Can this person do the job and do it well?” Scan the job description and consult your network to determine the key skills and accomplishments you should highlight. For example, if the word “trainer” is in the job title, make sure the word “trainer” or “trained” is emphasized in your resume.
4. Secure an internal referral.
This option will not always be available, but use it whenever you can. Many companies give rewards to employees who recommend someone who gets hired for a position. Whether the company uses an automated system or a recruiter to conduct an initial scan of your application, the tag “employee referral” can often provide your resume with added attention.
5. Observe basic interview etiquette.
This includes proper dress, arriving early, bringing something to write on and with, bringing copies of your resume, and not chewing gum. If you are late for some reason, APOLOGIZE profusely and then drop the subject. Try to call ahead to let them know when you will arrive in this case – and give a VERY good reason for your tardiness.
6. Apply before contacting a recruiter.
It shows disrespect for their time if you have not already made the effort to apply. On the other hand, if you initiate a positive connection and you have already applied for the position, the recruiter should be able to access your application immediately and perhaps move you forward in the application process!
7. Upload your resume.
Even if you complete an online application form, upload your resume as well. In some cases, the recruiter’s view of your information is cleaner and easier to view and scan in the resume format.
Remember, there are many factors behind the scenes that affect hiring decisions. You cannot always know why you were not offered position, so keep going and keep applying. Yes, there is a lot of competition, but not everyone who applies for a position is qualified. By taking a recruiter’s perspective and understanding what they look for, you’ll have a better chance of moving forward.
Christy Robb is a career development and lifestyle coach and writer who aims to empower people with tools, resources, and a mindset that supports them in realizing their ability to recalculate old assumptions about work and life in order to achieve mental and emotional freedom – and take action on their true desires. Having operated on “both sides of the table” as a coach and a recruiter, her work brings a unique perspective to her clients and readers on strategies for success in today’s world of work. Read her blog, Meaningful Meandering , find her on Twitter (@Christy_Robb) and Facebook (Christy Robb Career & Lifestyle).