I was recently a job hunter when I came to New York, and I must admit I had some frustrations. I felt like no-one cared about me, no-one liked me and I was rubbish at what I did.
Well, for a while anyway.
I started off the usual way of job hunting by having a little look online and applying for the odd job. And to be honest, this was a bit useless and I got little response initially. I really had not taken the time to really understand how best to write my resume (being used to writing CVs in the UK), I was being a little too broad in my searches and I was not focused on what I really wanted! How could a recruiter help me if I was not even sure what I was doing.
For those of you who are unaware what the day in the life of a recruiter and in-house HR Manager looks like, imagine the following:
- Working to fill 10-20 jobs at one time
- Reading through hundreds of applications a week
- Getting countless phone calls each day from people who don’t know what they want and need advice, people wanting to apply for jobs, people wanting to register with you, people asking about your website, people asking about how their application is getting on, people asking about their references, people giving you references, people checking your appointment is booked, clients wanting you to help them fill a job, clients chasing you on more candidates, clients arranging interviews, clients making offers etc.
- Conducting various face to face interviews a week
- Administration (which is another page)
What changed in my mind, and what did I do to help recruiters help me?
Firstly, I was reminded about the day in the life of a recruiter / HR manager and how they rarely have time spare because of how busy they can get – I needed to make their job easier.
Secondly, I changed my approach:
- I made my resume look exactly how I realized people reading it wanted it to look – with very exact and relevant examples of my successes (for that job I was applying for), using $ signs instead of £ signs and American wording – the same can be applied for jargon wording if you are changing roles / sectors
- I made the effort to contact direct recruiters / hiring managers (that were relevant to my search). When I did get through to them on the phone, I was to the point and clear about what I wanted – this would help them and they knew I was a serious candidate that was easy to deal with (hopefully)
- I tried to make it easier on the recruiter by sending simple emails that broke down exactly what it was I was looking for (job types, salary, location etc.). I would argue that cover letters are almost redundant when sending your details to a recruiter, unless you are asked to or applying for a specific job – findings say people spend on average 6 seconds reading resumes, so can you imagine how many read cover letters. I know from asking, they all much prefer bite size chunks of information (think of Twitter or Facebook feeds)
Thirdly, I remained focused on what I wanted from my next job and continued to politely update those recruiters with that information, by email or phone (when relevant).
There are many different factors to how you can get that perfect job. If you continue to be clear about what you want and make sure you can help that recruiter / HR Manager in their process (with helpful updates and informative details about your search) it will certainly go a long way.