In today’s highly competitive job market, failing to put your best foot forward at every turn of the job search process will put you at a clear disadvantage. Whether you are a recent grad in search of your first job after graduation, or you are a seasoned professional at a crossroads in your career, finding ways to get your foot in the door with a new employer can be difficult without having the right connections.
If you’ve continuously found yourself coming up short on potential new opportunities, it might be a good time to switch up your strategy! While there are a number of steps you can take to improve your odds of landing a new role, leveraging the expertise of a recruiter could lead to quicker success. If you’re considering working with a recruiter, be sure to do the following:
- Be a responsive communicator
Don’t you love it when you send someone an email or document…and they respond in a reasonable amount of time? Most people do, and recruiters are no different! Recruiters want to work with candidates who communicate in a timely fashion, as this shows them that you are interested and dedicated to landing a new role. For example, responding to emails within 24 hours, returning their phone calls the same day, or sending relevant information when asked (e.g., references, portfolios, writing samples, etc.) are a few ways for you to demonstrate that you are committed to a smooth recruitment process.
- Be honest and transparent
Honesty is truly the best policy when working with any recruiter. Recruiters invest a lot of their time into building relationships with a variety of employers, and for the right candidate, they may leverage these relationships to help you stand out in a sea of competition. Lying to your recruiter at any stage throughout the recruitment process (e.g., education, experience, background check, etc.) will only hurt your chances of being employed in the long run—even potentially tarnishing your ability to work with other recruitment firms. Along the same lines, “Are you working with any other recruiters,” or “Do you have any upcoming vacations,” are the types of questions you should always answer honestly. This will ensure that your recruiter has all the details they need to get you the best possible offer.
- Be sure to follow instructions thoroughly
Recruiters are typically working with a number of candidates at once, and as a result, they appreciate candidates who follow instructions in order to move the process forward. For example, a recruiter may ask you to submit documents in a certain file format (i.e., txt, pdf, jpeg, etc.) because the employer might prefer a specific format. If you don’t follow their instructions, it can delay the submittal process as well as raise some red flags about your attention to detail. A recruiter may also advise you on how to research a company thoroughly before your interview, the types of interview questions to prepare for, or certain types of questions to ask your interviewer. At the end of the day, your recruiter wants you to get the role you deserve, so taking the time to follow their instructions will only help you in the long run.
- Be sure to have a strong online presence
In today’s digital age, your social media presence could be the deciding factor between you and another candidate. An increasing number of job seekers continue to make the mistake of not cleaning up their social media profiles before starting their job search as recruiters and prospective employers use them as a way to paint a clearer picture of your candidacy. For this reason, it’s easier for recruiters to work with candidates that have a strong (and clean) online presence. For example, this could include an up-to-date LinkedIn profile, or a Facebook account that leaves no room for misinterpretations. Be sure to take the time to update your profiles to ensure you’re seen as the professional they want to hire.
- Be enthusiastic
Whether you’re a new grad trying to break into the workforce, or simply looking to take on more responsibility, the most successful candidates are the ones who demonstrate genuine enthusiasm throughout the interview process. This might include asking detailed questions throughout interviews, or emphasizing aspects of your personality throughout the recruitment process. Striking the right balance between highlighting your professional skills and showing off your personality throughout the interview process is a sure way to be a candidate recruiters will want to work with!