Dear Matt: How can I get employers and recruiters to notice me?
Matt says: If you want to get noticed by a recruiter, hiring manager or employer, you have to think like a recruiter, hiring manager or employer, says Kent Johnson, area manager of the professional and technical staffing sectors for the Minneapolis branch of Kelly Services.
"If you want to get the most of your job search, then start acting like your own recruiter," said Johnson. "Successful recruiters, by nature, are assertive and realize that time is the enemy of any job search. There's an adage in the agency recruiting world that time kills all deals. The more time it takes for an employer to respond, the less likely it is that you're going to be pursued."
Here are some tips that recruiters like Johnson use every day:
Use LinkedIn like a pro. This is my research tool of choice for finding company contacts. Link to everyone you can. The better your network, the better your chance of finding the right contact people.
Follow up within a few days of submitting your résumé. Use your LinkedIn contacts and make yourself known.
Identify the hiring manager. It's good to have corporate recruiters as contacts; it's even better to have hiring managers as contacts.
Don't rely on job postings to dictate your search. Target companies you want to work for and if they don't have jobs listed, market yourself to hiring managers. Entice prospective employers.
Résumés DO make a difference. There's no "one size fits all" when it comes to résumés, but they need to be sharp, well-written (with no typos) and be aesthetically pleasing. No pictures. No personal data. Go back a maximum of 15 years and don't go beyond three pages -- ever. Consider your résumé a commercial about your experience -- how well does your résumé sell you?
Prep before an interview. Good agency recruiters will always brief their candidates before an interview, and you need to do the same. Go to the company's website and research their business. Google the company and the hiring manager. If your interview is being arranged by a corporate recruiter, ask questions about the hiring manager; what questions does the person ask, what's the tone of the interview, how long have they been with the company?
Keep in mind, your interview begins long before you sit down in front of a hiring manager.
"Good recruiters never stop searching, researching and submitting; neither should you," said Johnson.