Congrats! You’ve gotten a call from a recruiter. It’s almost as rare as sighting the Loch Ness Monster. Now that you’ve gotten a recruiter’s attention, how do you gently lure that majestic but elusive beast to the side of your boat, or even get it to give you some money? OK, this metaphor got a little confusing, but the point is that job hunting is faster-paced and more competitive than ever, so building a strong rapport with your recruiter is a great way to increase your chances of landing your dream job. Keeping a recruiter on the line can mean the difference between getting that first round of interviews and sealing the deal.
Has a recruiter asked you to modify your resume? Don’t take it personally! That special attention means that the recruiter wants you to succeed. Even if you’re on a first-name basis with a recruiter, she has hundreds of other applicants who may have more suitable resumes. When a recruiter runs into something that detracts from your resume, such as missing keywords or bad formatting, she will have a harder time selling you as a fit. A recruiter who takes the time to address these issues with you, rather than discarding your resume and moving onto the next candidate, is actually doing you a huge favour. Be sure to make the recommended changes quickly if you’re serious about pursuing the opportunity.
Does discussing salary expectations make you sea sick? Job hunters are told not to sell themselves short when negotiating salary, but it is hard not to low-ball when the question of salary expectations first arises. Procom recruiter Josh Pryor advocates an upfront approach: “It makes the conversation go a lot easier and faster if people tell us what they are expecting so we can work with them on that position and future opportunities.” Just as a recruiter helps you modify your resume, he may also offer hints to help you modify your salary expectations: “We’ll always give you a range that represents the client’s ‘sweet spot’ for a role, but there is some flexibility if the applicant has all of the required skills and ‘nice to haves’ [on his or her resume],” says Pryor.
Doing your research goes a long way, too. “People often price themselves out of opportunities based on what the market was last year, or what they were making in another industry.” So, while you should never undercharge, it is important to be realistic about how well you fit into a role, the position’s industry standards, and the client company’s expectations.
How do I show off without bragging? Mastering the humble-brag may be the most coveted soft skill of the modern job hunter. Striking that balance between selling yourself and sounding smug can be tough, but it’s a worthwhile goal for a few reasons. The first, obvious reason to rattle off a few boasts is that it will give recruiters a better idea of your skill set and experience. The second reason is that it demonstrates your ability to communicate and tell a story about yourself, your company, and/or your work. Staying quiet about, or downplaying your accomplishments does nothing for you. Trust us.
Keeping these tips in mind should help you maintain a good relationship with your recruiter, so even if the first opportunity isn’t a fit, you may be kept on file for future openings.
See an interview on the horizon? Avast ye, matey! You’ll have to navigate the murky waters of contract negotiation. Keep sailing the seas until next week`s installment of “Where Does My Resume Go?” a blog that answers the question “My contract is almost up, where’s my recruiter?”