How to Approach a Recruiter

Take a moment to think about the mail a recruiter gets.  Those that work with me know that I try to answer every email I receive.  I appreciate when people are considerate and get to the point.   I think if they took into consideration just how much mail we get,  a lot of people would change their approach.  I personally get about 30 direct, personal emails with resumes attached, per day.  If  I spent just 15 minutes on each one, it would take up almost the entire day.  Pretty soon I wouldn't have any clients at all.

I recently spoke to a group of communication graduate students at a top university.  I added 15 entry level job hunters' cover letters to my slide presentation so that the students could see what I see.  This gripped their attention.   I think it really got the point across -- they saw just how bad the bad ones were compared to the good ones.  And they got the idea that if I'm looking at their letter along with 15 other letters, it better be good or I'll trash it.

So here are a couple of pointers on how to approach me (or any recruiter):

1.We might read a lot of  resumes and cover letters a day
So please keep it short and don't make me work too hard.
2. We are paid by the corporate client, not by the candidate
So don't expect us to look for a job for you.  Wrong approach.  I don't want to be mean but I'm not here to find you a job.
(Half the resumes i get start out with something like "I just started my job search and wanted to enlist your help")
3. My objective is to identify a perfect candidate for my client.  I search the surface of my network first, then get deeper and deeper.
So keep yourself on top by contacting me every so often with a gentle reminder like "Just wanted to check in and see if you had anything me, as you recall, I have 12 years of writing experience in the business sector..."

Quick tips:
Connect with me on LinkedIn
Use the key terms I'm looking for to attract my attention
Don't make me work too hard to figure out what you do
Give me your resume in chronological order with dates
Don't send me a group email with all my competitors
When we speak, let me know what you love to do and what others think you're good at. 
Keep in touch with me.

Be open to talking to me about an opportunity even if it's not the right thing or the right time (Your dream job doesn't necessarily appear when you decide to make a move).  If it's not right for you, help me if you can.  This will earn you big big points with me and I will try to return the favor.
A lot happens between going on an interview and accepting an offer so be willing to check things out.  Learn about what's out there.  It's good practice and you will learn about the market and your place in it.


Stephanie said…
Very helpful advise as I have never approached or worked with a recruiter before. Thanks!
Doug Anter said…
One might think that, as comms pros, this sort of advice wouldn't be needed. But, unfortunately, it is. Well crafted, Sandra.

Popular posts from this blog

Vice President, Corporate Communications - NYC - Global Asset Management firm

Vice President - Senior Strategist

Strategic Marketing Manager - Professional Services Firm - NYC