As the world navigates reopening procedures, everything feels a little wonky. A high unemployment rate means an uptick in competition. An uncertain second half of the year can make interviewing tricky and confusing.
Various health reports can make us all experience anxiety. If you’re in the market for a new gig, though, some of the same recommendations remain: update your resume and Ladders profile, notify your network and find a killer recruiter. But since some industries have been tanked, this field is experiencing an uptick. This means staying on a recruiter’s radar isn’t as easy as it used to be, and now, you need to go the extra mile to remain top of mind.
Here, experts shed insight on how to do just that:
Refer someone else for another role
It may seem obvious, but one of the most effective ways to send a good impression is well… be a good person! Recruiters want to work with people who think of others, who are helpful and aren’t just looking for a fast-track to an offer letter. After all, they are people too, and building a relationship with them is essential. That’s why Samantha Friedman, the senior vice president of people strategy at Vettery, says it’s smart to recommend other job-seekers for other roles the recruiter may be trying to fill. “Even if there isn’t a role for you now, you might have a connection who could be a good fit for another position. Send over any qualified referrals you might have—that way; the recruiter will be sure to respond,” she continues. “Whether or not you facilitate a meaningful connection, the recruiter will remember you as a selfless and genuine candidate and a valuable resource to the company.”
Establish a personal brand using social media
If you’re trying to catch the recruiter’s initial attention, you may need to do some digital branding work first. Especially if there is a specific agency that represents many of the companies you’d like to work for, you want to do all that you can to rise to the top of their searches. As Douglas Henry, a senior recruiting specialist at G&A Partners, explains, many recruiters will use online tools like Google, social media, artificial intelligence and job boards to source talent. This means leveraging these mediums with descriptive and in-depth profiles will set you apart from the start.
“The accumulation of this information allows a recruiter to analyze the extent of the candidate’s experience, personality, skills, interests, and community or industry involvement,” Henry continues. “Culture fit is just as important as the job fit for employers when considering someone for their company. When a candidate’s personal brand and experience are presented, recruiters are inclined and eager to establish contact with them so they can share the fantastic job opportunity they want the candidate to consider.”
Stand up for yourself professionally
After a phone screener, you were excited about; you left the meeting feeling less than stellar. The recruiter expresses concern about your lack of experience, and you stumbled on your rebuttal. It’s okay! Take the opportunity to follow-up and ease their hesitation by sharing a project example that demonstrates your knowledge, recommends Amanda Augustine, the career expert for TopResume. And if you don’t have something to prove your point? Offer to create it for the recruiter for an extra edge.
If you have the time and expertise, you can also go above and beyond by providing solutions. “Share an idea that could help the department cut costs, increase their output, or meet another goal you’ve learned. This gesture could easily get you back on the recruiter’s radar and into the interview room for additional discussion,” Augustine continues. “If you come across a study, statistic, or news article you think is relevant to your prospective employer’s work, share it with the appropriate members of the hiring team. This shows the recruiter you’re serious about the role and understand what they’re trying to accomplish.”
Write a ‘thank you’ note
And no, we don’t mean an e-card. Or an email. But a good ‘ole fashion handwritten card. The goal, Friedman reminds, is to make yourself memorable. “If you’re able to establish a connection with a recruiter, whether it be an interview or informational call, write them an appreciation note immediately after,” she recommends. “A handwritten note generally takes more time and energy, thus showing your commitment to the position and the company.”
Recommend something unrelated to work
Though it is essential to be professional, there is no harm in being kind and sharing recommendations that go beyond the office. Perhaps your recruiter mentioned they were trying out a new diet or recently bought a grill and wanted recipes. Augustine says to send it. Maybe they casually called themselves an ‘avid murder mystery’ reader. Why not send over a few page-turners you enjoyed? The hard truth is that people like to help people who are friendly and not self-centered.
“While you want to stay on the recruiter’s radar for all the right reasons—your stunning personality, your flawless qualifications, your strong references—often it’s the little, personal details that will help you stay on the recruiter’s radar. Don’t discount that little small talk at the beginning of your interview with the recruiter,” Augustine continues. “Consider what you learned about the person—their interests outside of the office, what they’ve been doing to stay sane during quarantine—and use that information to your advantage.”
Be persistent, but also helpful
Depending on the outcome of your initial call, Friedman says to continue to follow up with the recruiter at regular, but appropriate, increments. Try to consider what they shared with you during the call: a weekly follow-up isn’t appropriate if they’re on a hiring freeze. Or if they said they wouldn’t know about any progress for three weeks, give them that time (and then some) before touching base.
“If you haven’t already, follow the company on social media platforms and stay up to date on what’s going on to reference any new or exciting updates in your follow-ups,” she recommends. “That will help showcase your passion for the company and dedication to secure a position. Also, check out their careers page regularly.”