In 2020, many people are finding themselves unexpectedly out of work, with even some of the most secure employers facing the prospect of having to make redundancies and lay offs.
If you haven’t been in the job market for some time; the idea of securing new employment can be quite a daunting prospect. Now more than ever, recruiters can be hugely valuable for both employers and candidates; sourcing suitable employment opportunities and presenting employers with well-matched candidates who have relevant skills and experience.
Here are some hints and tips on to make the most of working with recruiters in 2020:
Make it easy for Recruiters to find you
We now live in a very virtual world and even if it’s been a while since you’ve been looking for work, you need to make yourself visible. Ensure your CV is up to date, upload it to job boards / CV databases and update or create your LinkedIn profile. Ensure your key skills and experience are quick and easy to find and that your contact information is up to date so that you are more likely to appear in keyword searches or be approached by headhunters.
Oh, and if you’re still using the same email address that you set up in a moment of weakness back in 1992 (yes you firstname.lastname@example.org) – now is probably the time to create a new, slightly more professional method of contact.
Tell them what you want (what you really really want)
Whether they’ve contacted you with a lead or you’re approaching a recruiter yourself, give them as much information as you can about the kind of job you really want (not just the one that you’d settle for). What does your ideal job look like? Where would you LOVE to work and why? What values, working styles and practices are important to you. The salary is what pays the bills, but what would actually make you stay?
Make a positive impression
Treat your first chat with a recruiter as you would a real interview – be prompt, dress appropriately (even if it’s a Zoom call) and sell yourself and your strengths. You want your recruiter to feel confident presenting you to their client. Make sure their first impression of you is a good one.
Stick to your commitments. If your situation changes, you get offered another job, receive a counter offer or simply change your mind – be respectful and communicate to your recruiter – don’t just disappear. You never know when you are going to need their services again. Ensure the experience is positive for both parties and keep in touch; even after you’ve secured a new role. Those connections can be useful in the future.
Explain the gaps in your CV. It’s ok that you went travelling for 6 months, spent time at home whilst your children were young or that the job in sales didn’t work out because you absolutely hated the hard sell. The recruiter needs to understand your real career history in order to help find the right one for you.
Don’t contact the client directly
This is a real no no. When I first used recruiters as a teenager I thought firing off my CV to the employer the recruiter had just briefed me about would give me an extra chance. It doesn’t – it just makes the recruiter look like they haven’t done their homework. In the same vein, if you’ve already applied directly – be honest – don’t waste their time.
Work with your recruiter
In 2020, it’s a buyers’ market. There are lots of candidates and sadly fewer vacancies being advertised and promoted, meaning application numbers are likely to be high. As such it’s even more crucial to make yourself stand out where your skills and experience are a good fit. Work with your recruiter to really understand the client and what they are looking for; so you can really stand out above your competition.