Recruiters have seen it all when it come to candidates. From ’embellished’ resumes, to a total lack of commitment. It’s their job to match up the top candidates with their perfect job, so they’ve become pretty well practiced at reading people and spotting the red flags a candidate may display.
So if you want to catch the attention of a recruiter, for the right reasons, you want to get inside their head and build an idea about what they are looking out for.
Although I’m sure recruiters don’t want you to know all of their secrets, there are a few things that you should know to make a good impression.
1) First you must beat the robot
Recruiters will often receive dozens or even hundreds of applications for each role, so personally reading every single resume that lands on their desk just isn’t feasible. To narrow down the applicants, automated screening software is often used to scan for the relevant information in a resume. So if you haven’t included the keywords they are looking for, I’m afraid yours is headed for the trash. To ensure your resume gets seen, use keywords that appear in the job description.
2) They WILL check you out on social media
This isn’t limited to just LinkedIn. Recruiters want to build an all round impression of what kind of person you are and check that information is consistent across platforms. If you have other social media accounts open to the public they will without a doubt have a snoop. So make sure it’s clean and represents you positively!
3) Recruiters will probably send your CV out without your permission
Once your resume is on the recruiters system, it’s likely that they will send it out to employers whenever a relevant role comes along. This can become a problem if you work in the type of industry where everybody knows everyone, as news of your job search could quickly become public information. So if you need your job search to be kept on the down low, it’s important that you let the recruiter know and hopefully they’ll keep a note that you do not want your resume shared without permission.
4) Flaky candidates are a recruiters worst nightmare
If you pull out of an interview, it will not go down well. Even if you think you’ve changed your mind about the role, you’re wasting the recruiters hard work if you’re a no show. So if you have gone through the motions and the recruiter has put in their time to convince the employer that they should give you an interview, the very least you can do is go along and see how it goes. It might go great, in which case you would have done yourself a disservice not to go. If at that point you realise it’s not the right opportunity for you, you need to let your recruiter know.
5) They’ll scope new business from you
If they ask you if you have been interviewing elsewhere, it may come across as though they are genuinely interested in your job hunt. Sure, this may be true to an extent, but it also offers them an opportunity to scope out what companies are hiring and then they can swoop in and pick up the job.
6) The recruiter is not the decision maker
Though they do have some influence over the hiring decision, the recruiter only really offers the hiring manager their thoughts and suggestions about candidates up for the running. At the end of the day, it is the hiring manager and possibly their colleagues who will make the final decision. This means that you should not focus entirely on building a relationship with the recruiter during the process. After an interview, be sure to send a follow up email to the hiring manager, so that you are fresh in their mind and it shows that you are serious about the job.
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