Working with recruiters should be an important part of your job search strategy, but how do you know who is good, and who’s not? How can you tell who will really try to match your skills to the job, and who is just trying to hit a monthly “interviews arranged” quota number for their office?
We’ve all heard the horror stories, and unfortunately, many are true! For every 25 bad recruiters out there, in reality there’s probably only 1 really good one. That’s not a good ratio, but I want to show you how to find the really good ones.
All things being equal, if one person applies directly to a company online, and another person has their resume handed to the hiring manager from someone they trust with a personal recommendation about why they fit the position, is briefed before each interview about what to expect and how to approach the interviews, and has someone who can negotiate salary for them, express any concerns for them and get delicate questions answered for them without having to ask themselves, who has the best chance of getting the job? Obviously going through a good recruiter gives you a tremendous advantage. However, your approach to the application process needs to be different than just applying to jobs on a corporate website.
Recruiters find people for jobs, not jobs for people. Knowing that, it’s important to position yourself as someone they need to find.
Let's talk email. For the longest time I looked at each email I received as a mini homework assignment. I really hated it. By not responding, I saved lots of time, but unknowingly, I missed opportunities because I was upsetting everyone I didn't respond to. So I needed to find a way to use email to my advantage. Here are 4 key tips to help you use email to your advantage.
First, since email is free, create a new one for your job search. Pick a name related to the job you want, or the industry. For example, if you are looking for a job as an accountant, create an email address like [email protected], or [email protected] When people get emails from you, the immediate impression is NOT that you're blasting your resume for any kind of job, but rather that you're only applying to accounting jobs because that's what you love doing. If you have multiple specialties, have multiple addresses. People are drawn to people who are passionate about what they do.
Giving good references can be just as important to your career as getting them. Are you ready? In a time when the average tenure at any given company is less than 3 years, strong networks are essential to avoid long periods of unemployment. To maintain a strong network, there are specific actions you can take to ensure you are both giving and receiving great references.
Have you recently been asked to be a reference? If you can honestly give a good reference, do it. If you cannot give a good reference I recommend not doing it because there are too many risks involved. Not only will you put yourself at risk for defamation lawsuits, but you also make it known to an employer that you have no trouble trashing someone else's reputation. If you should ever find yourself applying to a company where someone who checked that reference has since then moved to and their only memory of you is how you trashed that other person, then you potentially lose that opportunity. Whatever you do, don’t be a reference for spite, so you can "get even" with that terrible employee/colleague by giving a bad reference. That may feel great for about 10 minutes, but it can do years of damage to YOU. It's just not worth it.
Looking for a way to speed up your job search? Then you no doubt have seen the websites out there that promise to blast your resume out to over 300 employers with 1 click. This will effectively SLOW DOWN your search guaranteed. Here’s a great analogy for you.
Let’s say Mike and I both wanted to make a meaningful connection with a girl. To accomplish this, we both decide to visit 10 bars together over the weekend. My strategy is to take 30 business cards up to the bartender when I walk through the door, ask him or her to distribute them to 30 women in the bar for me. The card will read: