Recruiters play a very unique role in the job search and hiring cycle. Recruiters have the dual investment of representing candidates and connecting them with excellent opportunities while also bringing top talent to the doorsteps of their clients – the companies who are hiring. This responsibility requires recruiters to sift through thousands of resumes, understand dozens of job requirements and company cultures at once, and synthesize their knowledge and research to put puzzle pieces together.

As a job seeker, your first brush with a recruiter might feel informal, impersonal, or even unnecessary. You might wonder “why can’t I just talk to someone at the company already?” It is important to remember that the company you want to work for has entrusted this particular recruiter to go out and find top talent, and in so doing, she found you. A call from a recruiter should be met with excitement. But, how do you make the most of this brief encounter?

  1. Cover the basics.
    If a recruiter contacts you about a position you weren’t aware of – one that may be exclusive and not posted publicly – it’s important to quickly get answers about what the end-client needs and how you might fit in. In the case of jobs for which you have already applied or submitted information, the two of you have already met on paper. You can bypass initial details and reassert your fit. Cover the minutiae such as inflexible requirements (master’s degree required) as well as logistics (local applicants only). You don’t want to waste your time with someone ill-fitting, nor does a recruiter want to put you through for something that doesn’t suit you.
  2. Establish your interest.
    Excitement and passion will be reiterated by your recruiter when they submit you for a job. If you respond dully to the prospect of working for their client, recruiters are more likely to bypass you for someone more intentional.
  3. Show what you know.
    Are you familiar with the company’s recent merger or acquisition? Do you follow their tongue-in-cheek musings on Twitter? Don’t be afraid to demonstrate a connection or knowingness that could set you apart. Remember, recruiters want to vie for whole-package candidates.
  4. Show diligence in communication.
    By devaluing the recruiter and failing to see her as a gatekeeper to the perfect job, many candidates ignore recruiter calls and are often lazy in returning messages. Respond to recruiter emails and calls within 24-48 hours to be considered, and remember, this is their first impression of you as a professional. Promptness counts.
  5. Ask questions & value input.
    Recruiters know their clients and their needs, so they often have insights about what the company is looking for and how a candidate could best position himself as a contender.

When your phone rings and a recruiter is on the other end, take our advice and make the most of this first impression. For more information on how to get hired, trust the experts at Management Registry, Inc. Check out our job listings today!


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