Last week, I started a five-part series about enlisting recruiters in your job search. My first article in the series concerned how to find the right recruiter.
This week, I’ve compiled top recruiters’ responses to how to get the right recruiters (headhunters/search firms) to be interested in you.
- Have a strong resume in reverse chronological order (with the most recent job listed first). Include a description about each of your past companies. Also include relevant duties and have a skills summary with relevant skills listed. Feature key accomplishments under past positions along with supporting facts and figures. Many staffing firms have a template that they will want you to follow. “Don’t be insulted if they want to tweak your resume format. It should be the candidate’s content, but the firm’s format,” notes one recruiter.
- Update your resume on major online sites every 60 to 90 days. Each time you do so, recruiters are reminded that you are actively seeking employment. One recruiter commented not to do it any more often or you may appear desperate. “Habitual posters come across as just fishing.”
- Align your resume with your LinkedIn profile. Your skills and job history, especially quantifiable accomplishments, job titles and length of time at various companies, should match in both places lest you create confusion or suspicion about your background.
- Get someone to recommend you. “Personal recommendations are like gold, says one recruiter. “If a person is willing to stick his/her neck out on your behalf, I’m impressed. That’s why we will pay a finder’s fee for the right candidate.”
- Connect with recruiters on LinkedIn … but do so carefully. “Don’t connect with me using the “Colleagues at XXX Company” option when I never worked at that company. And don’t use the “Friends” tag, says one recruiter. “I don’t know you. We are not friends. That sounds harsh, but it is true. If we are second degree connections on LinkedIn, send a request to be introduced to me through our mutual connection, or if we are in the same LinkedIn group, use that option.”
- Keep in touch. Send an email to the recruiter every few weeks with an update about your job search status. Or, check in by phone. Don’t make recruiters guess if you are still interested.
- Ask to meet. Many recruiters either insist or prefer to meet with candidates in person. It helps them put a face with your name and abilities even if they do not have an immediate opening that’s right for you.
- Let them know you are interested in particular positions. Send bullet points about why you are well suited for the job along with your updated resume modified to best relate to the position.
- Network your way into contention. Knowing the right people at target companies can be a huge help in being considered for open positions. Recruiters also encourage you to be active on LinkedIn. Post updates, join in on group discussions, invite people to connect, and accept invitations. Most importantly, they suggest keeping your LinkedIn profile up to date. Says one recruiter, “If a person’s LinkedIn profile is outdated or without recent connections, I’m concerned that the candidate may not be a fit either socially or technically.”
- Be reachable and be nice. Respond promptly to recruiters’ voice mail messages, texts and emails and by accessible by cell phone. Says one recruiter, “Be easy to work with and put in the effort. Be willing to work as hard as you expect the recruiter to work.”
What other ways can job seekers get on recruiters’ radar? Or what questions do you have about connecting with recruiters? Share your thoughts on a LinkedIn discussion board that might have brought you to the blog.
Get on the right recruiters’ radar! It can help you … Get a Job!