Many job seekers feel they spend too much time waiting to hear from recruiters, like the guy on the left.
Often, not understanding about how the hiring process works and how to present themselves as someone who would be a "good hire" causes the long wait.
I am an external recruiter helping many employers find qualified people to fill their job openings.
If you understand the "rules of engagement" in working with recruiters, you can be more successful. Hopefully, this article will help.
Below are two examples of job seekers reaching out to me in contrasting ways and with very different results. One is an example of what to do, and one an example of what not to do.
I recently received a LinkedIn invitation to join the network of Jane Doe (not her real name).
I did not know her before receiving her invitation, and, as a recruiter, that didn’t bother me a bit -- she was an active job seeker who might be someone I could place. Maybe not in a position I was working on at the time for one of my clients, but maybe sometime in the near future.
Her approach was simple, but well-presented and executed. Her LinkedIn invitation included the message as follows:
I am seeking a Product/Customer Marketing Manager (CPG/Promotional) opportunity in Dallas. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn and expand my network. I have over 1,900 contacts and would be happy to introduce you as well.
I appreciate your kind help!
I accepted her LinkedIn invitation immediately. She sent me this excellent email, below, later that day [significant terms bolded]. Note the useful and relevant information she provided in her second message :
Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. I am in the process of looking for a Product/Customer Manager (CPG) opportunity in Dallas. I would love to speak with you about any opportunities you may know of at your earliest convenience and have attached my resume for your review and consideration. If you know of someone in the Dallas area who may be a good contact, please forward my information along to them. I appreciate your kind help.
I have a Bachelors degree in Marketing/Management with 10+ years of Product/Brand Marketing, Customer Marketing, Business Development, Merchandising and Promotions experience. I am a take-charge person who is able to present creative ideas, communicate product benefits and understand the customer's needs.
My experiences include:
I have traveled extensively to work with buyers to better understand their end user and have developed a line of products to fit. In addition, I have 10+ years experience providing customer service and solutions to buyers and customers.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible via the contact details provided.
[she provided her phone number]
All this information was immediately added to our company’s applicant tracking system for future reference. I may or may not have a job arise that she could interview for. Regardless, my connections may come in handy for her, and vice versa.
Last month, a job seeker applied for a job we had posted on our job board. The job posting clearly stated the location in Dallas.
By the description, it was also quite clear the job would include managing direct reports on location in Dallas. The job seeker appeared to be qualified, but I was concerned about the length of her commute since she lives in Austin, over 2 hours away (by car).
I emailed her a short note to thank her for applying and asked her about the length of commute between Austin and Dallas.
Realize that of the many who apply, few (unfortunately) get a direct response immediately. Those who are contacted should take advantage of a direct response with well-thought responses.
Her response to my email was not impressive:
I am sorry I didn't realize you were in Dallas, are you open to telecommute and if not I understand.
Now, I might be a little picky (like most hiring managers and recruiters), but I think there are many things wrong with this response that trigger all kind of warning signs for me.
The major issue with all this is future consideration
If I have many job opportunities in the metro area where she lives, I might have a future opportunity that would have been a better fit for her. However, the impression she gave me of her was not all that good.
Seeing that I was posting a job that she was interested in, but not close enough to her house, she may have taken a completely different approach and been a lot more successful -- like the approach of Candidate #1.
The key take-away is that Job Seeker #1 provided the right information in the right manner to have a recruiter take notice and keep her “virtual resume” on file for future opportunities. It took very little effort on her part or mine.
She may have also recognized that I was not working on any jobs that fit her background (posted on my company’s web site). So she took a generic approach of introducing herself and did not try to push consideration for a job for which she was not qualified.
While writing this article, I had two emails pop in. Which categories above would you place them - Dart Thrower or Strategic Networker?
Nice to see your profile on Linked In. Can I send you a LinkedIn Invite so we are connected?
Or if it is easier you can email me an invitation to John Doe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whichever works for you please let me know. I have over 8,400 connections and would like to be connected to you.
Yes, #1 is the dart thrower, and #2 is the strategic networker.
There are many roads to get to your destination. Some are longer than others. Some are dead ends and time-wasters. Take the right roads with your eyes and ears wide open, and you’ll get there faster.
Job-Hunt's Working with Recruiters Expert Jeff Lipschultz is a 20+ year veteran in management, hiring, and recruiting of all types of business and technical professionals. He has worked in industries ranging from telecom to transportation to dotcom. Jeff is a founding partner of A-List Solutions, a Dallas-based recruiting and employment consulting company. He is a unique recruiter with Lean Engineering experience and a Six Sigma Blackbelt. Learn more about him through his company site alistsolutions.com. Follow Jeff on Twitter (@JLipschultz).