Linda Kay

Job Seeker’s Tips for working with a Professional Recruiter

Working with a professional Recruiter who specializes in your industry can be very effective in finding that “next adventure” aka new job, if you know how and why recruiters do what they do each and every day.

1. A recruiter’s number one priority is to fill jobs they are hired to fill by their clients. They are NOT hired by you to find you a new job. They have very specific criteria to find the right candidates for their client’s hiring needs, so first and foremost, do your research and find recruiters who specialize in your industry.

2. Recruiting is a very high-stress, fast-paced career. No matter how “right” you might be for a job opening, you are not entitled to being the main focus of their search. Don’t “demand” that they call/email/text or message you by your schedule – be as available to them as you can and be respectful of their time. Successful recruiters are focused on filling the job openings they have been asked to fill in a timely manner. They don’t get paid unless they do!

3. Networking is how recruiters fill jobs. LinkedIn is the single biggest resource for recruiters to find you whether you are currently thinking about making a change or not. Don’t be afraid to share your network of peers with them – referrals are often the best way to get in a recruiter’s pipeline for your dream job! If your job search needs to be confidential, which is often the case, make sure they know it and remind them. Offer to make introductions to others in your network – recruiters know how to confidentially reach out to others. Effective networking also helps others think of YOU when they are asked for referrals!

4. Recruiters are always looking for new clients to work with – think about who you know in your industry that consistently hires new talent, either in your market, or across the country, and make introductions or recommendations. Often recruiters have “finders fees” or referral fees and are happy to share in the wealth!

5. Keep in touch with recruiters by sending a quick note and always include all of your contact info and updated resume. Don’t expect them to be available when you call or send an email – they are typically on the phone/email all day and don’t have time just to “catch up”. When you do send a note (every other week or monthly) keep it short and sweet and include your name in the subject line so they can find you easily in the hundreds of emails they get every week!

6. Keep your LinkedIn profile and resume up-to-date! Check for spelling errors, grammatical errors etc. Post a professional photo on your LinkedIn profile – not your kids, your dog, your 10 yr old high school graduation picture or your latest sight-seeing trip to the mountains. They want to see how you are going to dress for an interview, period. Professionally done, head-shot photos are the best. Don’t forget to smile!

7. Above all, don’t forget to thank them, make intro’s, send referrals and network, network, network with good recruiters. They are the ones who learn of new job openings before they are ever posted on websites or social media. A good recruiter will go to bat for you with the hiring manager if they like and respect you – it’s still a relationship game no matter what – make it a good one and it will pay off time and time again.

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NETWORKING AND BAKING A CAKE

Networking is like baking a cake – you need the right ingredients in the right amounts to bake a tasty cake or build an effective professional network.

One of our favorite industry influencers and career coaches, Lou Adler, gives this advice:

“While networking takes a lot of work, there are two HUGE benefits ……

1) you don’t need to be a perfect match on skills and experiences
2) the jobs themselves are not cookie cutter jobs, but have the potential to be significant career opportunities”

So the choice is yours, waste your time hoping to find a decent job, or build a network to help you build a career.

We find this to be so true, especially in today’s world of increased connectivity. Whether coaching a college graduate in creating a new profile on LinkedIn and explaining why it is so valuable in their future career vs other social media outlets (Twitter, Instagram, FB) or helping a seasoned candidate make a change in their career path, the message is the same. You should always be adding to and building your professional network of peers, mentors and leaders, business contacts, social & professional groups, and companies in your field since they are the ones who often know of new job opportunities before they are ever posted to the public. Effective networking is key to career stability, mobility, and overall job growth & satisfaction.

~ Linda Kay ~

What are some ingredients to building a professional network?

• Start with your LinkedIn profile – update it and expand it every week by inviting people you know to connect with you
• Join as many groups as you can, both in person and online, and contribute to discussions/meetings etc
• Volunteer in company related activities as well as those in your personal life
• Offer your time/talent/treasure to those in need – become a mentor in your field to someone just starting out; share your talents with those around you whether it’s at your child’s school, church, or company out-reach program
• Get personal – call someone rather than text or email; meet for coffee/lunch/dinner – you never know who might be a future reference for you
• Read/Research/Learn – strive to grow and challenge yourself every day – learn something new to share with others

Whether building a cake or a professional network, the right ingredients in the right amount will make it worth your time and effort. Enjoy!