Recruiters & Job Search (Part 2)

Call the recruiter

Wherever possible, I recommend that you speak to the recruiter before responding to a job ad, with one proviso – that you use the call to inquire about information that’s not in the ad or available in the public domain.

A pre-application conversation gives you the chance to learn more about the position, which helps you to customise your resume and position yourself as a potential candidate for the role.

But beware! The moment you initiate that conversation, you are being screened, and however informal the discussion seems, the interview has begun. Everything you say, and how your approach the call is being noted.

A good recruiter will take advantage of that call to decide if you sound like a good fit for the position, and should be considered for an interview.

Finally, use this call to determine if the advertised job actually exists or the recruiter is scouting for talent to build a database. If it does, you can decide if the role is worth pursuing, which can save a lot of time, energy and heartache.

Recruiter-friendly resume

Before you call a recruiter or submit a job application, I recommend that you take time to develop a resume which helps the recruiter to do their job, and leaves them with a good impression of you and your ‘personal brand’.

While there are many opinions about the format and length of a resume, and applicant tracking systems to consider, an experienced recruiter can spend just 20 seconds reviewing and assessing your resume.

Here are 7 things to consider before emailing your resume to a recruiter:

  1. Do I need to learn more about the job requirements or the needs of the organisation?
  2. Do I meet at least 70% of the selection criteria?
  3. What key words and phrases are used in the position description?
  4. Can I enhance my resume for the applicant tracking system?
  5. Have I made it clear how I differentiate myself from other similar candidates?
  6. Does my resume clearly show how I can perform the role and add value to the organisation?
  7. Have I followed the application instructions specified in the ad?


You can read The Low-down on Recruiters & Job Search (Part 1) here.

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