Recruiter Tips for Job Seekers

Though the employment market is most certainly a candidates' market and the effective unemployment rate hovers around 5%, still there are times when excellent candidates find themselves on the other side of the interview table.  I wanted to write a bit about what I suggest to candidates that are in my network. Here are three ideas for job seekers to consider. 

1.  Be Your Own Recruiter

When I see a blue chip candidate’s resume, one of the first things I do is think about where that candidate will fit into the market place.  I evaluate their previous 2 or 3 roles by industry, company size, and by their job function and level of responsibility.  Then, I make a list of companies of a similar size and in a similar industry. I go to the websites of all of the companies on the list and I read the most recent press releases-- looking for significant signs of organizational change.  These signs can include a recent acquisition or a recent merger.  Other signs may be a new round of funding or a change in executive leadership.  Finally, I do my research to determine who my candidate might report to at these companies and I contact them directly regardless of whether or not they have advertised an opening. 

It always amazes me when candidates who are looking for a new role can’t answer the following:   “Which companies do you think you would be a fit for?”  I would say that about 75% of senior level candidates can’t answer this question.  The inability to do so tells me that A) they aren’t yet fully committed to their job search as they have not yet done the necessary market research or B) they aren’t very good at thinking on their feet because at the very least they could have mentioned a competitor of their current company.  Some exceptions can be made for job seekers who are intentionally changing geographical locations, but it’s still pretty weak if you can’t think of a single company that would interest you in a given market.  If you are serious about your job search, and that means if you want recruiters to take your job search as seriously as you do, do the necessary research to determine where you fit in the market. 

2.  Clean Your House

I am a really active networker and just when I think that I have seen the craziest pictures on Linkedin… someone just outdoes themselves.  Is your face wet?  That should not be your Linkedin profile pic.  Are you standing in a grocery story? Not a Linkedin Pic.  Are you dressed as a mime?  Unless you are a mime, this is not a Linkedin Pic.  I wish these were all hyperbolic, but-  alas- I have seen all of these. 

But other than that, have you mean-tweeted lately?  Do you have some irresponsible pics on Instagram? When you google yourself, what comes up?  If you really want to land the next great position, you should at the very least google your own name.  Trust me, recruiters will. 

3.  Pretend You Are A Consultant Pitching Business

In a recent set of interviews, I had a client ask candidates about their marketing plan for his company.  The best candidates came in with their research completed and a step by step plan for business development.  The advice I gave them might also work for you.  Instead of going into an interview hoping to be hired in house, pretend you are an outside consultant with a certain area of expertise and you are there to solve a problem for the interviewer… then, sell your ideas to them.  This allows you to ask intelligent questions during the interview, and then use the information you gathered in your formulation of an expert plan for their business. Not only will this help you come across as the best candidate for the job, but you will also have a say in what you will be doing on your first day of work, which is a win-win for everyone. 

If you currently looking for a position in Xamarin Development, Non-Profit Fundraising, Business Intelligence, Corporate Accounting, or Human Resources send your resume to