This is the follow-on to a post I wrote here in February, about the folly of companies who are hiring and treating job candidates (also potential customers and advocates of their brands) with disdain and utter contempt in some cases!
This is a companion piece, but this time putting the spotlight on how candidates can endear themselves to future employers and recruiters, to maximise their success in getting the job of choice.
Firstly let’s look at passive job seekers (those not actively seeking a new role) Companies that are recruiting – be it recruitment agencies or companies directly, will at any one stage of their existence have on-going, changing needs which sooner or later may result in that dream job for you.
Much like the frustrations that hiring companies can cause when not even acknowledging your interest in their advertised job, the same can be said for you the candidate not acknowledging their email, in-mail, private message, phone call etc. Just because, on the surface you a) are not interested in the potential job opportunity outlined or b) at that precise window of time you are not seeking to change job;- that situation could change unexpectedly and you may well find yourself actively looking, or crucially missing out on an opportunity because the hiring company/hirer overlooks you on the next occasion.
Basic good manners again win out – as a recruiter managing varying roles, for multiple companies, across an array of channels, candidates that acknowledge a recruiter’s contact to them, stand out in that recruiter’s mind as they have displayed basic courtesy and engaged. Therefore an impression has been created & the recruiter will be inclined to remember them next time. And that could be the time when the job of your dreams has arisen.
Critically also, is that the brand/business that the candidate is currently working for, from a pure consumer point of view – the recruiter is likely to view that brand in a positive manner and therefore might avail of the products or services in future, as a by-product of a successful first impression, by the candidate (or ambassador for a given company). EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL CUSTOMER!!
So nothing major here to be noted, just the basic importance of a quick acknowledgement on the lines of ‘thanks very much, the time isn’t right at the moment, but please remember me in future’ will suffice.
That is not to forget, that there are some very persistent recruiters out there. If their attentions are really becoming too much, firstly firmly tell them this and at worst block them from whatever channel they are contacting you through – e.g. sever your 1st degree connection on LinkedIn, block their email address etc.
Secondly – tips for active candidates, who are sending out multiple applications
1) Be very selective in what you are applying for, read the job description, ensure that you actually have the credentials to do the job, or at least be able to display that you have the potential.
2) Be sure to tweak your CV for each new job application ensuring that your CV reflects the key words illustrated on the job description, that you are applying to.
3) Where possible, find out who the hiring manager is and follow-up your application with a call, or an email. Sometimes the hiring manager, or person managing the vacancy, their name will be given on the job ad. Alternatively use the search facility on LinkedIn and try and work out who that person might be. Also, again using LinkedIn, you might be lucky and find out that you know someone who is already connected to the person you need to talk to, so ask them if they can help in anyway.
4) It sounds ridiculous, but make sure you are contactable! Check your emails twice daily, check your voice-mails, make sure you put your contact details on your CV! If your preference is to be contacted via WhatsApp, twitter etc. highlight this! Ensure your contact details can be found quickly on your CV – so ideally at the top of the front page underneath your name, not just on your cover note that could be detached. For security reasons, don’t feel obliged to include your full postal address, but an indication of where you live is very helpful, as in ‘North Dublin’ for example.
Some companies really do not have a candidate friendly way of contacting them. I know of a long-standing global communications company, where the recruiters do not take phone calls! They take emails, but you probably might not get a response, unless you are very lucky. In this instance, you might have to be philosophical and ask yourself, do I really want to work for a company that treat people, be it customers, job candidates with such arrogance?
5) Sometimes it can be useful to go through a recruitment agency that are already dealing with your company of choice. Try and find out before you apply directly if they use agencies and which one (s) they are. As an initial inquiry this at least gets some dialogue going, as the recruiter will obviously want to save themselves from a recruitment agency fee (if they are a good recruiter), but you need to establish this before you apply. Sometimes you don’t get a choice – the role has been outsourced to a 3rd party & that is the desired process. At least it means that the external recruiter usually has a better insight as a result of regular contact with the internal hiring manager, which can help set your expectations.
6) If you are fortunate to get to any screening or interview stage and then after that, your application is not progressed, then always seek feedback as it opens up a recognition and dialogue for the future.
Why is it not straightforward? It really can drive anyone to despair! It should be so simple – you are a candidate, you have the skills, you see the your job advert – you apply, you get an interview, you might fall short, as there could be another candidate who just had that extra ingredient that you don’t have, but the process has worked! Sadly it doesn’t always work that way.
So in summary – make sure you have 80% of what the role requires, display your professional courtesies, persevere, be prepared for setbacks and ultimately, you will triumph, even though the path can be full of minefields & frustrations!