Join Jolie Miller for an in-depth discussion in this video Approaching recruiters, part of Job Hunting Online.
Recruiters or headhunters are retained by companies to help them search for key roles they need to fill in growth areas or leadership positions especially in cases where they need to find passive talent from other organizations. For example, if a company like Lynda.com wanted to expand into let's say a new sales territory in another country, we might look to recruiting services to locate a managing director and sales people who are highly technical with a dot-com background while also being fluent in those other languages. There are a few reasons this would be helpful.
First, not a lot of people are going to meet the desired qualifications there and second, we'll likely need that worldwide search for candidates. This is where recruiters, executive search firms, and headhunters step in. They source roles from individual contributors on technical teams to creative teams, the bosses and the C-suites, but usually they're focused on the upper level or key positions and not focused on every position in an organization. The key for you is knowing how to work with recruiters so they aid your job hunt with the right roles at the right times.
There are several ways you'll work with recruiters. The first is when you're looking for a job. You're reaching out to them. The second is knowing how to reach out to them if they contact you to fill an open position so they might give you a call or send you an email. So it's knowing how to do that response to them. And third, if you're involved in layoffs often transition services including executive search or recruiter services are provided to you as part of a package. We're going to focus on finding a recruiter because we'll assume that since you're job hunting you might want to find a recruiter to help you with your process.
Let's focus on finding a recruiter which you can do through LinkedIn, or through a Google search. It's really as simple as going to google.com and typing in recruiter plus the industry that you're interested in, or doing the same thing on LinkedIn. In a LinkedIn search bar you can type in recruiter plus the industry you're interested in moving into. Let's assume that I've found a recruiter that works in the publishing space. I'm at uspublishingjobs.com and this is a destination for people who work in education and publishing.
I'd like to take a look at this recruiter site to really get a sense of who they place, what their values are, what kind of positions they have open. This is a great site to scan as an example. The kind of scan I'll do here applies equally well to the recruiter pages you'll be looking at. You want to take a look at who their clients are. You want to take a look at how you can submit a resume to them, and most important what positions they have available. Now the position list is going to change pretty rapidly usually for a recruiting firm so check back often when you find a site that you really like.
As you can see if I scroll down here, I can see opportunities in sales and publishing, and in marketing a little bit further down, but the editorial opportunities are the ones that I want to take a close look at. They don't have a lot available in editorial right now, but I would want to check back every couple days or every week to see if there's something else of interest to me here. There are a couple things I want you to keep in mind as you embark on working with a recruiter. The first is that recruiters want to get from Point A to Point B quickly.
They're eager to fill the roles that they have available, and here's why. They're paid by filled positions, not by the phone calls they make or the leads they follow up on. So the quickest route for them to get from first phone call to successful placement is a route that they want to take. The next thing I want you to keep in mind is that they're vetting you for professionalism and cultural fit for each role at every turn. So every time you have an interaction on the phone, via email, in your follow-up, you want to make sure that you're projecting the professionalism that they'd be looking for because ultimately if they share you with a company as a possible candidate, you represent the recruiter and yourself.
Lastly, here are a few tips for working with recruiters. First of all it's a great idea to send out general feelers to get on their radar, a quick Hi, nice to meet you, here's a little bit about me email goes a long way. You could connect with them on LinkedIn and establish that relationship so that you have it if you ever need it to fall back on. Second, make it a point to be available quickly if you're interested in a role they reach out to you for, or if you're interested in working with them on an expedited timeline.
In that case take that first step and make sure that you're available for phone calls or for doing the follow-ups that they may ask for. Likewise always have your materials ready to send them on short notice. As I mentioned before, they're looking to quickly move on positions and hand over successful candidates to the companies they're filling roles for so if you can get them a resume and a cover letter within an hour of getting off the phone with them that helps them be more successful at their job.
Finally I want you to think about finding your point of differentiation. Let's say maybe you're interviewing for a VP of marketing job. They might be talking to 15 or 20 VP of marketing candidates. What makes you different? What makes you stand out in that pool? Is there something about yourself that you can position as unique and especially suited for that role? Depending on your career level and ambitions, working with a recruiter might be a key part of your job hunting strategy, or it might be an extra. If it happens, it happens.
If it doesn't, it doesn't. If you do develop recruiter relationships take care to nurture them over time letting a recruiter know as you change jobs, get promoted, or find yourself in the market again. This helps you stay current on their radar every 6 to 12 months which means you're more top of mind as they're looking for candidates. It's also helpful to reach out and connect them to folks in your network who might be a good fit for jobs they're hiring for. Good will goes a long way here. As with all the relationships in your network consider this to be a 2-way street.
Then take a quick workshop on applying for a job—from finding the ad to researching the company, tailoring your resume and cover letter, and submitting the application.
- Making a plan for job hunting
- Using popular job sites such as Monster, Simply Hired, and Indeed
- Networking and finding jobs on LinkedIn
- Using Twitter to search for jobs
- Scanning sites of companies you want to work for
- Approaching recruiters