Need a recruiter to get a job? Want to know how to approach these elusive headhunting gatekeepers?
If you want to work with a recruiter, you will need a few insider pointers to get a face to face meeting with his or her client.
The following advice will help you work best with these job placement specialists, become the desired candidate that receives the best job offers, and keep you off the recruiter's HR do not call list.
Develop relationships with recruiters before you need them
Unless you have an impeccable job record and skills that are in high demand, it’s wise to contact a recruiter before you need employment. It’s also important to look for a recruiter who specializes in your industry.
Before I became a recruiter, I was a great resource to headhunters who would call my office looking for candidates. I answered their questions and helped them find candidates without requesting a referral fee or any favors in return. When I needed a new position, those same recruiters I helped when I was employed, were my biggest supporters.
Tell recruiters the truth
If you don’t want a 20-minute work commute; hate working in a cubicle and really need $85,000 dollars a year to survive; tell your recruiter upfront. Fired from your previous position because you failed a drug test?
You might want to mention this incident. In the long run, blemishes on your record and your work preferences can be big deal breakers. You don’t want to stall negotiations between you and your new employer because you failed to mention important details concerning your job history.
Show a recruiter in ten seconds why you are qualified
Most recruiters take an average of 10 seconds to read your resume. After you reply to a job announcement, recruiters take a quick scan of your job titles, the companies you've worked for, the highest level of education reached to determine whether you are a match for the position.
The desire to find the right candidate is there, however the time and energy is not. That type of quick overview is the reason why most candidates never receive a response to their resume. If your experience doesn’t fit the job description exactly, you won’t be called in for an interview.
Dress the part when meeting with a recruiter
Meeting the recruiter for the first time? Dress to impress. If you are interviewing at IBM, Coca Cola or UPS, don’t wear flip-flops with your business suit.
Forget the blue or red hair, bright orange nail polish, body piercings, too tight clothes and provocative attire. It’s better to be overdressed in a casual work environment, than be underdressed in an environment that demands traditional and conservative attire.
Interview the recruiter first, before you meet the client
It’s important to have a face-to-face meeting with a recruiter. Prepare a list of questions to ask about their experience, approach and relationships with clients. Ask the staffing professional for their references.
Think of the recruiter as a matchmaker. If you and the matchmaker don’t have a great understanding of your expectations, skills and needs, you will be poorly represented to the client. Ignoring the rules above will put you in a position of weakness and can effect your negotiating power with these important gatekeepers in the future.