Passive candidates represent valuable prospects for employers, but how do you ensure that you’ll be considered for these new opportunities? Working effectively with recruitment agencies is sometimes the difference between a great role and an average next step. Here are a few ideas for ways to bolster your visibility to recruiters so they can help you shine:
1. Have a decent LinkedIn profile and resume
I know you say - really - that’s your advice?! Well, you’d be surprised how bad some people’s LinkedIn profiles are and even worse, how horrific some resumes can be. At the end of the day, you need to present yourself how you see fit, but just know that spelling mistakes, bad grammar and incomplete profiles count against you. We’ve ranted over the years about this, but if you need more help - please start here!
2. Do your research
We live in an era of recommendations. In the past, you went to the local doctor, dentist, lawyer, accountant. Not anymore. Now, the power is in your hands* to choose the best agency to help you in the job search.
Instead of wasting your time with agencies that don’t specialise in your particular area of work - invest in getting to know the ones that will have multiple roles to speak with you about. Ask people you know and respect who they would recommend. Find out how the agency works and what their networks are. Make sure you are savvy with your recruitment agency selection - often it will make the difference between wasting your time and making your career.
3. Connect (but don’t over connect!)
Don’t be the freaky dude that sends a message to the recruiter saying, “I just saw you in the tinned food aisle, can we catch up?” Respect the recruiters personal life and make sure you connect with them over the right channels (that means LinkedIn not Facebook (or Tinder - eek!).
4. Know yourself - what is your elevator pitch?
Everyone has attributes that are attractive and those that erm, needs working on, so you should know what yours are. Work out which organisations would get the most value out of you and use this to work back and highlight the skills and experience that you have to support this. For example,I know that you wouldn’t get the best out of me by putting me in a large corporate environment with a slow pace of change, but a more nimble, fast paced environment could use my experience and skills well. What does your profile look like and who are you attractive to? When you are working with recruiters - it is important to highlight these things, as well as organisations that you admire or would like to be a part of.
5. Follow up (but don’t be a stalker!)
You want to keep in touch with the recruiter, so you are fresh in their mind - but how often is too often? The best thing to do is agree with the recruiter on what works for you both. It will depend on if the recruiters have a lot of roles that suit your profile or how well they are placed to help in the short term. Set an expectation for communication so that no one feels like a stalker (or needy!), but also so that the recruiter has enough time to speak with clients on your behalf.
All in all - to work well with good recruiters (like most good relationships) requires clear communication, an understanding of expectations (and capabilities) and a good commitment to the long term. Nail this, and you are well on your way to ensuring the recruiter has you front of mind when the right role comes up!
*I think I have perhaps been watching too many late night British dating shows where contestants go to the “Isle of Fernando’s!”