Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Other Side of the Job Board: A Recruiter's Helpful Hints

The times… they are ‘a changing. Job searching, resume submitting, interviewing, and follow up have all required certain finesse. As with all things, though, with new technology and new socially accepted norms, a person in search of a new opportunity must forgo the ways of their parents, or even the ways they were taught in school for a modern approach to job searching. Each aspect of the process, and it is a process, must take into account who you’re talking to, what your purpose is, and what avenue would best relay your message. The path to the eventual hire is a long road and comes in phases (or at least that is how this recruiter sees it).  

Stage 1: The Hunt

So you were laid off, fired, are looking casually or went out in a blaze of glory from your last position. However you came to end up perusing CareerBuilder and LinkedIn, you are here now and most likely need a little direction. 

Digitize: Social Media is the absolute best way to get your name out there. No longer is it acceptable, or fruitful, to submit resumes en masse to faceless job postings or the front desk receptionist at your target company. Do a little research and you will find that Recruiters and hiring managers are all over interwebs seeking people just like you. You just have to make yourself findable. Using each of the media below (and so many more) talk about what you are looking for. Make it clear your goal of the ideal role for you.

  • Twitter: Get one. Use one. Hashtags. The end. 
  • LinkedIn: Complete your profile. Update contact info. Be active.
  • Facebook: Join Groups. Talk. Share. Post.
  • Google+: Ooh! You’re fancy and with-it. Stay that way: Post often as it helps your SEO (Google it).
  • Blog: WordPress, Blogger, etc. Again, post often and promote via media listed above.

Stage 2: A Little Song and Dance

So they found you, you found them, or one of those resumes magically made it to the right place. Wonderful! You’re not done. Not even close. The interview process is a delicate obstacle course full of judging eyes and silly questions all designed to test you, rate you, and generally size you up against competition or simply the hiring manager’s idea of what this position should look like. A few humble suggestions from a young recruiter and you are on your way to an offer!
Prepare: Know the job (the best you can with what you have). Know how to get to the location. I know it doesn’t seem fair but on a subconscious level, it is a mark against you if you have to call our office for directions. Overdress: not like it’s the Enchantment Under The Sea Homecoming, but wear something suitable for the place you are vying for (or even a bit nicer)
Engage: I won’t give a ton of suggestion for during the interview simply because this is your time to be you. So do just that. Answer honestly, show your personality, highlight what you can do and just be enjoyable. Personality can get you farther than almost anything else. Everyone has likable qualities, now is the time to put yours on parade. 

Stage 3: Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

The waiting game commences. It’s like you had the first date of your life and you just know he’ll call tomorrow. Likely he may not. Be patient. A follow up is critical but often over- and under- done.  Personally, I love a nice hand written note. An email is also just as well. What I don’t care for is the awkward interruption of a phone call from a candidate asking how things re progressing. I realize not all recruiters or hiring managers are on top of the follow-up thing but I promise if they like you, you will know. Still with something short and sweet to serve a purpose. Let them know you appreciated their time, are still interested (or not), and look forward to hearing more form them. The end. That’s all. Over doing may not necessarily keep you from landing the job but it won’t help either.

This may not seem like much, but these few suggestions are something I have come up with in just one year of recruiting experience. In one year I have seen each of the faux pas time and time again and felt compelled to educate the masses! (All three of our blog followers) Let us know if there are any details you would enjoy expansion on and we will certainly oblige! 

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