How to Impress a Recruiter

When it comes to the present job market, there is still a greater supply of candidates than available job openings. For every open position, a recruiter should be able to provide at least a few viable candidates that they’ve short listed from the mass of applicants via resume review and prescreens. Hoping to make it to the top of the list? Below are 5 simple ways that you can impress your recruiter and improve your chances of being passed on to the business.

  1. Update Your Resume: It’s no secret that the best way to get a recruiter’s attention is by networking or using your network connections to vouch for you. If a position exists that you are interested in pursuing, the first action you should take is to submit an application. Your application should always include a polished version of your resume that is catered to the position. Ensure that the information is complete and accurate with the most relevant details of your background listed towards the top. It should be free of typos and grammatical errors. Not sure about length? The rule of thumb is that you should have one page for every 10 years of experience. Avoid putting personal information like your birthday and marital status but do add correct contact information. Once the application is submitted, ask your connection to put in a good word.
  2. Be Prepared: Fundamentally, an interview is designed to test your knowledge, skills, and abilities. We want to know if you are a good fit for the role and organization. Having some understanding of the responsibilities and company is key. You wouldn’t show up for a test without studying so do your research. More often than not, a Recruiter will ask “why did you leave your last position?” or “why are you seeking a new opportunity?” While we do want to know the reason for departure, we’re really looking for what sparked your interest. This is your time to shine and prove that you know who we are, our mission and vision, and the impact you could potentially have based on the work that you do.
  3. Give Examples: Very few of the questions that will be asked in the interview will be phrased in a way that allows for a “yes” or “no” answer. We want you to elaborate and give examples. Tell us a story. Start by explaining a situation that was challenging or required some kind of resolution. Discuss what you did to resolve that situation. It is great if you worked on a team but we want to know specifically the part that you played in finding a solution. Why did you decide to take that course of action? Were there alternatives? Ultimately, let us know the outcome. It’s best to share a story that ends positively.
  4. Ask Questions: The interview is a not a one sided conversation. Questions are an excellent way to show the recruiter that you are engaged and eager. While you’re preparing for the interview, take the time to highlight parts of the job description that you want clarified. Think about what motivates you based on past experiences. When the time is right, you can ask about benefits, schedule, telecommuting capabilities, etc. Pull together a list of at least 10 questions that you hope to have answered over the course of the conversation. Some questions may be answered along the way but out of the 10, at least a few will be left for your inquisition.
  5. Follow Up: You are probably not the only candidate being considered for the position. While the initial interview is your first impression, you should follow up to create a lasting impression. Send the recruiter a note thanking them for their time, reiterating your interest in the position, and outline the skills you have that you believe make you qualified. This simple step helps to solidify your professionalism and interest in the opportunity. In this regard, it doesn’t take much to go above and beyond the recruiter’s expectations.

Recruiters want to fill their requisitions just as much as you want the job. We are driven to find the right talent that aligns with our organization’s strategic initiatives. Leveraging this advice just might get you one step closer to being considered further in the process and achieving new employment.

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