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The newest Labor Statistics Office Report Says US created 850,000 jobs in June, and who knows – one of them could be your dream job! Or your dream job could be a job that is not yet permanent, but maybe if the decision-makers in the right company only knew about you, your skills and your goals.
Whether your ideal job is “anything” than your current one or something hyper-specific, you likely spend a lot of time browsing open job postings, lurking on LinkedIn, or even spending money on list servs and databases pointing them out to you can become roles that have to be filled.
Have you ever thought about going straight to the source and self-applying instead of waiting for a hiring manager to post about a candid gig? Sure, it seems like a daring move – but the employer likes daring moves and if not, it can be a good sign that you and the company are not a match anyway. Yes, you can go to a recruiter and make an appointment and, as we do in the business, “jump on a call”.
This is how it works, according to Tim Sackett, CEO of a temporary employment agency HRU technology and author of The Talent Fix: A Leadership’s Guide to Recruiting Great Talent.
Get the name of the right recruiter
Take the time to find out who is the best point of contact at the company you are interested in.
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“How do you like her? Probably LinkedIn and searches the company and the people who work for that company, then invite that company’s recruiters to connect, “says Sackett,” or connect with someone at this company who’s in the way Job works you want and ask him which recruiter supports your department / department / location. “
It’s time to get connected – if only online. If you are in the job hunt zone, you will likely already be reading GlassDoor company reviews and senior LinkedIn profiles. Go a step further and reach out to someone there, even if they don’t seem to have any hiring power.
Suppose you want to become an accountant in a large company. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who is already an accountant there. Sure, they’re busy living your dream and everything, but they’re a normal person like you and they might feel flattered – or just plain curious – if you search their inbox for direction. It can take you a while to find the courage to ask a stranger the name of a recruiter, but it really only takes a few seconds to respond. Ideally, they will receive some sort of financial reward for referring a new employee so that for reasons other than out of goodwill they are more inclined to help a skilled job seeker than you think. Use this to your advantage.
Or they could really be there out of good will.
“Most of the people on LinkedIn are ready to help you connect if they are in the same job, geographic region, or better yet, an alumnus of their school,” says Sackett.
How to contact a recruiter
After you’ve found the name of the right recruiter, you actually need to contact them. This can be terrifying, so it’s best to be prepared.
Make sure your resume is up to date, as well as any other materials you may need to further your specific skills, such as a portfolio or a role. If you haven’t been able to secure the recruiter’s extension number or are particularly afraid of phone calls, compose an email that includes the relevant attachments and links but doesn’t clutter it with your life story. (And please work on aversion to phone calls.)
You’d like to have a face-to-face interview with this recruiter to bring your case forward so you don’t have to include a full cover letter, reference list or desperate request on the first note. Provide just enough information to show you qualify, then ask them to get back to you with their availability for a chat.
If you get the phone number in advance, skip the planning email and save the written contact for follow-up. Be direct. Show how determined and ambitious you are by calling direct, but have your resume and materials ready for reference.
“Be ready to leave a message!” Sackett says. “Ninety-nine percent of recruiters don’t take cold calls, not because they don’t want to talk or find great talent, but because they fill their day with scheduled shows from people they’ve already found. Knowing this, your message must interest them as to why they should make you on one of these scheduled calls. Explain which position you are interested in and be as specific as possible, as most recruiters have 25-50 different jobs at the same time! “
Write a script for your voicemail message in advance. It’s easy to get off track, repeat yourself, or leave out important details when recording on the fly – especially when you’re nervous and the stakes are high. Greet them by name, state the purpose of your call, ask them to return your message with their own availability for a chat, thank them for their time and leave your contact details. Boom, you did it.
What should I tell the recruiter?
Once the recruiter replies to your email or message – or in some cases just takes your cold call and speaks to you – it’s time to take your case forward.
From here, treat the interview as you would any job interview, even if you reversed roles and this time it was actually the attacker. Use your resume and previous work as a reference and make it clear why you want to work for the company. Ask if there are any open positions that your skills will suit, whether the recruiter knows there are open positions across the board, and what they would recommend to keep in touch if there are no positions immediately available.
Even if there are no vacancies in the company, you are now on a recruiter’s radar. Provided you have the appropriate experience and skills, they won’t forget you – especially as you put the work into finding them, showing your perseverance, and making their jobs easier at the same time.
No matter how the conversation goes, then follow the recruiter for his or her time and reaffirm your commitment to the hiring within the company. If your first contact was a phone call rather than an email, make sure your follow-up message includes the résumé and materials you discussed over the phone so they can review and hopefully forward them within the company.
If some time goes by without communication from the recruiter, email them and ask how they have been and whether anything has changed within the organization.
Whenever you achieve something new, get a promotion, or even change jobs, let them know in a friendly message. The more up-to-date your materials, the more successful you are and the more communicative you are, the greater the chance that you will find exactly what you are looking for there, but the recruiter needs to know all the relevant details to make this possible.