Land your dream job... and how to not drive recruiters crazy...
Recruitment agents and hiring managers are the gatekeepers to your future career and it is worth keeping them sweet. From how you communicate, to how you engage with them throughout the recruitment process, it all matters and can be the difference to landing your dream job.
There are a multitude of ways candidates drive recruitment agents and hiring managers completely crazy, and it does nothing but hinder your chances at landing a particular role. Here are a few of our tips for staying on your recruiter's good side and moving towards your ultimate dream job.
1. Where'd they go?
Don't 'ghost'. It's a simple instruction but it is amazing how often candidates miraculously disappear off the face of the earth, often just when things are coming together. You are not only wasting the time of the potential employer, but also the recruitment agent. You might not think it's a big issue but a lot of time and effort goes on in the background, bringing everything together and if you just stop replying, all that work goes to waste. Not only is it irritating, but at a most basic level, it's disrespectful. So, if you're considering not replying, just remember, not only might you come across that recruiter again and hiring managers move around, so you might just find they're managing your dream job role in the future, and they might not look after you next time, or even get in touch due to previous experience. Things can change, but approach your job search with integrity and make sure you let everyone know what is happening; so that they can work to identify alternative candidates that meet that client's requirements.
2. Quantity over quality.
Some people assume that if you send off hundreds of applications, the odds are in your favour, but this is wrong. Most recruiters or hiring managers have enough experience to spot a scatter-gun approach to applications, whether it's the generic cover letter, or worse, the wrong job title listed in the application, or a CV tailored to a different role. Putting more effort into a single specific application will garner a better response rate than spamming every hiring company out there. There is no such thing as a quick application process. Always approach it with two questions:
How does my application fit the job description?
Is it easy to identify my skills and experience relevant to the role being recruited?
3. Freezing out... cold emails.
If you're going to send a cold email, make absolutely sure you've done all the leg work to help the recruiters see your value. If you're looking for a particular job or are interested in a specific role, make sure you're contacting recruiters that might be able to help. In its simplest form, this could be checking their website for the areas they recruit in. There is nothing more irritating than receiving a cold email for someone looking for a tech role for example when you only recruit into operations and financial roles. Do recruiters a favour and don't clog up their inbox with fruitless requests.
4. Fear of negotiating.
So often, recruiters will do their best to get you the deal they think you want, but again, there is something very frustrating about a candidate who gets all the way to the finish line and then asks for something more. Be upfront about what you're looking for from the start, and that way, they are more likely to be able to help you get what you deserve. If you don't, they might just feel blindsided, and it puts them in a tricky position with their clients. It is unlikely you will be able to ask for more money at the end of the process - so you might as well be clear from the outset.
5. Up for anything...
It isn't appealing to receive a cold email or LinkedIn message from someone who is looking for 'any open opportunities'. No thank you. I have enough candidates for each of my roles that actually want that specific role, so why would I prioritise someone who is up for any job? I have to sell you and indifference isn't an attractive trait - it doesn't show ambition. So do a bit of research. Check out the roles they're advertising, and be specific about what you might be suited to. At a basic level, you look proactive, and best case scenario is they decide you're the right fit for that specific opportunity.
6. Get over it.
Yes, it's annoying when you get rejected. Every person who's ever applied for a job knows that. But remember, it's not the recruiter's fault that the client chose someone else, so don't have a go. It's not personal. Sometimes you'll be the best person for the role and personality fit to the company and other times you won't. You will always get feedback as to how performed in the process and any tips or suggestions for improvements.
Most recruiters go into the biz because they like people, and there's a certain thrill that comes with getting someone a job that they're perfect for as well as meeting those client's needs; so don't assume that they see you as a cash-cow. Getting you the right job makes their lives better, so cut them some slack and treat them with respect.
If you're looking to work with an ethical recruiter who doesn't send speculative CVs and will work with you to find your next opportunity, then get in touch. We have experience in recruiting for: Retail, Wholesale, Clothing, Consumer Goods, FMCG, Medical, NHS, Pharma, Software, Technology, Legal, Professional Services and Finance.
This blog was originally written in 2020 and has been updated and published in December 2021.