Ever questioned if Headhunters & Recruiters even look at your resume?
Wondered what gets your foot-in-the-door or how to grab their attention?
Here’s the inside scoop from an interview with Dawn Longshaw, a Professional Recruiter who heads up the Professional Recruiting division at Vertical Bridge. With over 23 years’ recruiting experience, she knows what it takes to grab a recruiter’s attention.
It starts with your resume –
Have you created a compelling, accomplishment-rich resume? Does your resume demonstrate your expertise and talent? Have you communicated how you have added value to organizations you work with? Recruiters are looking for a track record of attaining great results including career promotions, leading projects, increasing profitability, reducing costs, improving efficiencies, and building highly productive teams. Put your best foot forward with a well-crafted, professional resume that markets your key strengths and accomplishments as it will impress recruiters.
Next, optimize your LinkedIn Profile –
Recruiters are always cruising for talent on LinkedIn. Develop a compelling, keyword rich Profile. Then, reach out and connect with others on LinkedIn, build your recommendations, and join and contribute to industry groups. By doing this you raise your online profile, credibility and increase your prospect of being noticed when recruiters are doing searches.
Communicate your career goals with your network –
You can also raise your profile by communicating to your network that you are interested in taking on new challenges and new opportunities. Why? A recruiter’s primary source of great candidates is their network. They solicit interest from their known candidates and if these candidates aren’t ready for a career move or aren’t interested in the opportunity, they’ll ask: Can you recommend anyone else I should talk with about this opportunity?
Ask your network which recruiters they work with and if they think your experience might be of interest to these recruiters. Then, contact the recruiter noting you have been referred to their agency.
Directly approaching recruiters –
See a posting on a recruiter’s site? Know that a recruiter is specialized in your industry/sector? Approach them directly. In your email message, briefly highlight your experience and a few of your key accomplishments that would appeal to their clients. Then, attach your resume. If the recruiter perceives you have the experience that would be of value to their clients’ current or future needs, you will be invited to an introductory meeting.
Build a lasting relationship with a recruiter –
Relationships with recruiters can span years, through multiple career moves. It all starts with the introductory meeting.
Dawn Longshaw strongly recommends you prepare for this first meeting by knowing your value and being able to clearly articulate what you can offer. Don’t rely on your resume to tell your story. You need to be able to readily speak to your key results. Prepare by outlining how you have added-value to the organizations you have worked with, i.e. increase profits, decrease costs, improve team performance, lead complex projects, introduce initiatives that transform organizations, etc.
Key questions they may ask include:
- “Walk me through your resume.” (Hint: Talk about your key accomplishments within each of your roles. Positively describe why you left the role – i.e. looking for more challenge, career advancement, etc.).
- “Give me a snapshot of your achievements.” (Hint: Present your key results related to the role you are targeting. If you can quantify your results in $, % or # you create an even stronger impression).
- “How have you managed your career thus far?” (Hint: Has it been random, or carefully orchestrated career moves).
- If applying to a specific job posting; “Why are you interested in this job”? (Hint: Talk about how your skills match their client’s needs. Also, discuss your achievements dealing with key issues and challenges that their client may be experiencing.
Next, be honest. If a recruiter asks for your salary information it’s to ensure you are a good fit to their client’s needs and compensation structure. Hedging or avoiding answering this question does nothing to build rapport with your recruiter and retain a relationship with them.
A Final Tip –
Overall, recruiters are in the business of finding great talent for their clients. If you have a resume that speaks to the key skills their clients need and a track record of solid accomplishments, they will call you in. If not right away, then perhaps some time in the future.
If you need help creating an accomplishment based resume, compelling LinkedIn profile, or interview practice to prepare for your Recruiter Introductory Meetings, let’s connect for a complimentary consultation. I’ll critique your resume, review your LinkedIn profile, or do an interview audit and then provide you with feedback to help you put your best foot forward when approaching recruiters.
Wishing you much career success,
Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach, Internationally Certified Career Management Professional and highly skilled workshop facilitator. She specializes in working with professional and executive clients to provide job search strategies and tools, including career testing, professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, targeted cover letters, and interview strategies and practice.