Thank you recruiters when you do these 10 things. I have worked with many recruiters and gotten jobs, consulting gigs, and so on. Most recruiters have been responsible, hard-working people. I especially like it when recruiters go above and beyond and do these 10 things. All of these things listed below many helpful recruiters have done with me.
Listen – Sounds sort of strange right? It is a sad fact of life that people only tend to listen to things that benefit themselves. If it doesn’t benefit them, they don’t seem to hear it. So when you tell something that isn’t what the recruiter wants to hear, the best recruiters will ask you what you mean. For example, one recruiter asked me if I had a certain skill with a certain phrase. I had never heard that phrase before so I assumed that I didn’t have that skill. However I looked it up and contacted the recruiter when it turns out that I did have that skill, she just used a less common phrase for it. Rather than immediately write me off as “not having the skills” she was willing to listen once I learned exactly the meaning of the obscure words she was using.
- Be realistic – I once had a recruiter ask me to drive an hour to visit him on the weekend in a town I had never been in. I thought this was strange, but I liked the position so I said sure. I went and listened and shared, but it was clear that this position wasn’t a good fit for me. What he shared privately and what was posted publicly was very different. If he had been realistic and been honest with the job details I would never have wasted my time meeting him. I love it when I can say to a recruiter, I have skill x,y,z but not a,b,c. Are those essential? Any recruiter should know what is essential and what is nice to have.
- Have a sense of humor – I am not saying that they laugh at my jokes. Not everyone appreciates my sense of humor and that is expected. I am saying that this is a job, not a life and death situation, and when someone can relate to the human foibles it makes me more confident that they are realistic about people’s character and competence. It has been my experience in life that people who don’t have a sense of humor are difficult to relate to, and often not good team players. There is a give and take in life.
- Creatively package me despite not being perfect – Of course, sometimes some employers want an unrealistic person. I have seen plenty of job postings where that demand advanced degrees, and the ability to program and manage an international program, but the job and pay are listed as entry-level. I’m sorry if you are doing and investing all of that, that is not entry-level. I am not perfect for every job, but in my niche, I learn quickly and there is no lack of intellect or personality that would prevent me from being successful in a job. It is rather other cultures’ ability to accept that I may be a non-traditional choice, but a diverse and interesting one that brings much to the table.
- Humility – I love it when recruiters will admit that they don’t understand certain terms or technologies. I am happy to explain things so that they can make intelligent choices for people. I think the greatest recruiters are the best communicators, and don’t allow their ego to get in the way of the goal of their client.
- Action – It is exciting when you talk to a recruiter, they like you, and submit you to their client. That is seizing the moment. Surprisingly not every recruiter works this way. Some want to meet you in person or over Skype, which is fine but tends to really delay getting the resume to the client. Some recruiters even won’t submit you until they do a background check which is really old school. I understand that some professions need a credit check because you are entrusted with financial issues or a government background check. I get that. However, if you are applying to keep someone able to stay connected to the Internet, this is not rocket science and doesn’t need a Senate Investigation committee.
- Good Memory – I get it. I bet recruiters talk to hundreds or more people per day. I couldn’t remember everyone. However, when they send you an email and you call them back immediately, I am always impressed when they remember my name. Sometimes I have to spell my name which is fair my name is not easy, or remind them of the job that I am replying to which is fair as well, but at some point, some recognition should happen. When people don’t remember your name, it makes you feel like a number or cog in the wheel.
- Honesty – Yes of course there are things that are private and things that are not. However, if you don’t get the interview, then a brief email or call would be nice. It is not easy to give unpleasant news, but it is life. If a job seeker can’t handle this, then they shouldn’t ask. Life is more no’s than yes’s but we are adults and we can handle being told no.
- Boundaries – I have certain boundaries and if someone asks about them, then they should honor them. Most of the time recruiters ask when the best time to call is and I say 9-5 M-F. Sometimes I get a call outside of those hours and it is for a good reason like clarification of something that the client asked about. However, if it is something that isn’t urgent, then wait until the next day. Life isn’t just about work.
- Work-life balance – Life is more than just about work. Sure work is fun and interesting, but ultimately what makes us happy can be more than just sitting in front of a computer. The recruiters who admit they have hobbies, interests outside of recruiting are fun and interesting people to talk to. I would rather talk to them than someone whose entire life is just recruiting. This person may not achieve as much as the overachiever, but they are much nicer to be around