What do Recruiters Want from a Job-Hunting Candidate ?

What do recruiters want ? A recruiter starts work every morning with one objective – find the best candidate for his/her client and fill the open position ASAP. A candidate hunting for a job wakes up with this thought – may today be the day when I land my dream job. Notice the similarity between the two objectives – so why not work together with mutual respect  to achieve this common goal?

This post is from the view-point of a recruiter for the job-hunting candidate (let’s for the sake of convenience, assume the sex of the recruiter to be female). She wants you to succeed because your success would eventually ensure her’s. And she has a few expectations from you, the potential hire, so that the common goal of a win-win job hunt for both can be reached. So here is how you can help her help you:

What do Recruiters Want – Craft a complete resume

Your profile should be tailored for you – please skip the long sentences with all the nice-looking buzz words. A recruiter will spend a maximum of 30 seconds to determine if your profile is suitable. Be direct and prepare your resume in such a way that your qualifications, skills and achievements are searchable and stand out. Link to your work portfolios or online profiles (Social media links, LinkedIn is a must, About.me, etc.) or blogs so that there is an additional outside reference for your skills.

What do Recruiters Want – Be Visible

Update your profile (and also your LinkedIn profile) regularly. A resume should always be a work-in-progress document and have your latest details – your latest contact details (make sure your email id is a professional one.- crazylover777@xxx.com is a sure reject in the first 5 seconds of a resume review), your years of experience, your preferred job location/s, new skills all help the recruiter shortlist your candidature quickly.  Regular updates also help keep your profile on the top of search results in job boards. Create a separate folder in your mail box for achievements to store those appreciation mails and promotion letters. Refer to this folder every three months for additional updates to your resume.

What do Recruiters Want – Be Responsive and Responsible

The common courtesy rule: treat people the way you would want to be treated – applies with recruiters as well. Do respond to emails and calls – even if it is a “no, thank you”. If you are busy, a short email or text stating your availability (even when it is “please don’t contact me ever”) will save the recruiter time and not keep her hanging. If you do give a time slot, plan ahead and be available – being late for an interview is just not professional. If you can’t make it, make sure you inform in advance.

What do Recruiters Want – Be Honest

Know what you want. Think it through before committing yourself. If you are not clear about which career path to take, be upfront and discuss this with the recruiter. She will respect this and may be able to provide you with options or opportunities that work for you. Nothing is more frustrating to her than last-minute surprises – if you are not interested, just say so. If you are not ready for the interview – let her know, her information and insights can help you prepare for it. If you have another offer (a promotion, another job) – let her know, it may help you get a better offer. If you don’t want to join after accepting the offer, let her know – don’t wait for the day of joining and then not turn up. Nothing could be more unprofessional.

What do Recruiters Want – Engage

Network with recruiters. If you have had bad experiences with one recruiter, don’t lump the rest in the same bucket. Find the recruiters who work in your industry and who understand your career goals and reach out. Keep in touch. Build a relationship – this is one person you need in your corner when you are looking out for a career change. Keep track of the recruiter and through her, her clients, just like she is keeping track of you. Refer your friends. Find out about hiring trends and upcoming opportunities from her. Give value and get value back – this can definitely be a mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe you don’t need a job now, but she could open up a few doors for you when you do need one.

All of the above will help you in building relationships with the Best Recruiters and make you the favourite go-to candidate for recruiters. Recruiters can be the wind beneath your wings when you need to change jobs or need to hire for your team. (And don’t forget all the great side benefits of having a friend for life :))