Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Have you hugged your recruiter today?

Great recruiters are hard to come across. The best in the field truly are passionate about what they do and care about making a connection with prospective job seekers.

Great recruiters can take a candidate and accurately outline their strengths, correctly mapping them to an appropriate position. They give the candidate visibility within the organization and ultimately sell them to the hiring manager or interview team. They are/can be an intregal part of the decision on whether or not to hire, often having a role in the offer process, recommending a salary figure or assisting with negotiation that often benefits the candidate. Up to and including sending a congratulations and welcome letter, guiding someone into their first day at a new company.

A criticism I've recently discovered working in a hyper-growth environment, is the lack of established connections with job seekers. No one's fault really. Yet because of this I see new employees begin their job and quickly forget that initial call or person that got them 'in the door'. They don't realize the behind the scenes/inner workings of making this process seamless and successful.

I don't want this 'thought/blog' to come across whiny or that it's somehow a reminder that recruiters have the ultimate power/decision - because it is definitely a two way street and there are multiple variations to each situation.

What I would like to get across is if you are or were recently a job seeker, and you've come across a great recruiter, let them know you appreciate them giving you a first look and opportunity. And know that there are other contributions that you most likely do not see, that land you that perfect job.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Job Seeking 101

Recently I was asked to present at a local networking / job seeking event in Denver, organized by Andrew Hudson. Approximately 200ppl were in attendance, which when you look at CO’s unemployment rate of ~7%, was a realtively low number. The topic – “Secrets of the Corporate Recruiter Revealed”.

I focused my 10-15min on the basics. With the majority of the audience appearing to be a senior level crowd, I was unsure of how the audience would interpret my simplistic, let's talk basics, approach. Luckily, feedback after the presentation was good - “direct, to the point, things I can start doing tomorrow”.

I thought I would share with whomever would like to read. Enjoy and feel free comment.

a. Do your research on company. Recent Events, Past/Present/Future, Competitors/Market, “Google” me, your interviewers.
b. KISS – brief, to the point. Do not “story tell” or answer unasked Q’s.
c. Take notes during interview
d. Have Q’s prepared. Based on company, position. Everyone asks about culture, timeline, next steps, think outside the box on Q’s.

a. Clean Formatting, same font, spell-check
b. Have both chronological and skills based resume
c. Have friends / family critique resume
d. Explain gaps in resume, explain short tenure if applicable
e. Last 5 yrs most important
f. Look at friends/ex colleagues resumes for ideas
g. Resume format often mirrors communication style - be mindful
h. Write cover letters that are customized, not canned.
i. If you are marketing, graphic design – I expect a great looking resume

Applicant Tracking Systems
a. Only apply to those you feel most qualified for (Avoid - Sr level applying to entry level or applying to a broad range of positions to get “attention”.)
b. Have patience – sometimes 2-3 wks before looking at resumes fully
c. Apply promptly – if position has been posted for 3-4 wks, chances are higher that we’ve already started interviewing and don’t have time to look at every resume
d. If you are out of state, planning on moving, or know it's a long commute – write cover letter explaining relo plans or commuting plans.
e. We can’t respond to every applicant, don’t take it personal

Network, Network, Network – It’s all about who you know
a. LinkedIn (connections, user groups, etc.)
b. User Groups/Associations
c. Ex colleagues, neighbors, friends
d. Alum Groups
e. Staffing Agencies – ask for referrals, do you research, pick 2

A Down Economy
a. Competition is tough, it’s a buyers market (generally speaking)
b. Certifications / Education options
c. Good employers should not lowball based on economy, don’t lowball yourself but allow for flexibility.

Keep positive attitude
a. Stay patient, don’t stalk
b. Thank you letters and follow ups – after interviews and even if disappointing outcome