In the stressful business of applying for jobs, recruiters are often the primary gateway to getting the position. Winning them over has many elements, and each one takes some unpacking before you have a strategy that will work. A good CV is an essential part of that strategy, but it is not the only one. Your personal brand, your education, your work experience and even your values all factor into how recruiters view you as a potential candidate.
Recruiters are people too. They are there to find candidates for jobs, not jobs for candidates. This distinction means recruiters are put under pressure to deliver high-quality candidates for their clients. Their credibility rests essentially on being very selective, as their choice should be worth the risk of putting the relationship between client and recruiter on the line.
All this means recruiters are looking for particular skills or industry experience that a business does not have the resources to find on its own. Which, in turn, means that appealing to recruiters requires paying attention to the following criteria. These include, but are not limited to, specific industry experience, current and demonstrated technical and/or other relevant skills, a degree or qualification relevant to the position, a willingness to commute within a reasonable distance of the company, as well as a willingness to accept a salary offer within the range the client company has specified.
Specifics, however, are only half the story. There is also the subjective aspect, known as having the ‘right chemistry.’’ It normally boils down to a ‘gut feeling’ by the recruiter. To give a good impression of yourself, align your goals and values with those of the recruiter, as this will automatically translate to the goals and values of the company the recruiter represents. The best way to do this is to contact your recruiter directly. Building a personal relationship will improve your standing in the eyes of the recruiter, and thus your chances of being referred for the position.
Your CV usually is your first ‘foot in the door.’ Having all the relevant details for the position you are applying for at the top is vital, as it is naturally where recruiters look first. Here you should make your talent and experience the main event. For each specific job position, you should think about which elements of your personal brand are most relevant to the role. For example, as a recent graduate, you might benefit in placing your education at the top, together with a summary of your grades. If you are looking for a more experienced position, work experience and relevant skills should take priority instead. A good, well written and clear CV is a showpiece of your talent.
There is no magic formula for getting recruiters to notice you. It ultimately depends on the person. However, if you pay attention to the above suggestions, you will rapidly improve your chances. The key is to keepng your applications job-specific and to be selective with the set of skills and work experience you provide, as recruiters value brevity. Together with an excellent personal brand and personality, you will eventually get recruiters on your side.
Written by Adam Watson for Together Abroad