Thursday, August 13, 2009

Some tips - from recruiter's side of the fence

Recently I had to move to “the other side of the fence” – I had to become a recruiter for a couple months. The project I am working on now needed an assistant and I was given a task to hire one. I always informed people in my book and in my blog about everything useful that I know from the point of view of the job seeker and now having tried the opposite role I felt I had to share what I’ve learnt in the process.So here are some tips:
1. Never start your e-mail to a recruiter with “Hi!” If you don’t know the name just say “Dear Sir/Madam”. You’d think everybody knows this but I got a ton of applications starting from “Hi” and the worst part - my FULL NAME was on the job post. People, show some respect! Honestly, I only looked briefly at the resumes of people who wrote to me in that manner I never considered them seriously for the position.
2.Even if the job post does not ask for a cover letter always submit one. It gives you an opportunity to draw the recruiter’s attention to specific aspects of your experience. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to figure out from just the resume why a person thinks he/she is qualified for the job. At the end of the day, I figured out, all qualified resumes look the same (there are standards and templates and more or less the same work experience) but it’s the cover letter that made the difference for me. It opens up the real person behind the resume template

3. Do not standardize your resume: create a resume for each position you apply for. If I am looking for someone with certain computer skills don’t devote just 1 line to this experience and 5 lines to your leadership experience in Church Camp ABC. And sure your wrote on that line that you actually spent 5 years doing that job which, I guess, relates to what I am looking for but don’t make me GUESS, write more about it, put it in bold and delete your Church Camp experience completely- it just distracts my attention!

4. If you are applying for a position and you can show some examples of your work – do it, even if they don’t ask you for it in the job post (may be they thought it is self-explanatory that you have to send them) I asked about certain experience with video making in my job post and only about 20% of applicants sent me examples of their video work with their resume! I didn’t ask for them specifically but I ASSUMED that anyone in his right mind who will try to “sell” his skills to me and impress me WILL attach the videos. May be I am not a perfect recruiter and I cannot create a good job post but do you think all others can??? Never rely 100% on the job post!! Do what you think is logical and what will help market you better. Send whatever extras you think relevant (but don’t send junk!)

5. When you are asked to submit some names of people for references don’t just submit the names, submit a complete reference. It saves my time and if I have a question the name and phone number of the person who gave you the reference is right there. And you know what? Even if you are not asked for references it still won’t hurt to submit a couple that make you look really good.

6. And, finally, NEVER start your cover letter with “I am not entirely sure if I qualify for this position…” I am not going to read beyond that line. If you are not entirely sure I am entirely unsure you qualify!
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