You’ve e-mailed, phoned and hounded two dozen recruiters who specialize in your field, but you’ve had little to no response. What are you doing wrong?
It might be your handshake. Or it could be your perfume… your eye contact… your tattoos… your frequent use of the word dude.
The recent surge in candidates for executive positions transformed the job of the executive recruiter from “finding a needle in a haystack” to “finding a needle in ten haystacks,” said J.T. O’Donnell, a recruiter and blogger on Careerealism. There is more talent than ever before and recruiters are getting picky, he said. They’re using first impressions to triage the good from the bad before they even consider qualifications, he said.
Recruiters have to determine a candidate’s marketability much quicker. Translation: candidates must pay even more attention to the power of the first impression factor. People skills, attire, etc. all become more important when competition amongst talent is this fierce. Reality check: Those who are failing to make a good first impression get put in the ‘no’ pile and are never contacted again. So, if you aren’t getting called back by a recruiter after either an in-person meeting or talking by phone, there’s a good chance that, in addition to the fact you didn’t have the right skills, you also might have displayed one or more traits on the ‘I can’t market them’ list.
It’s a reminder to always mind your manners and be on your best behavior. Recruiters work for the companies that hire them to find candidates, not the job seeker. They won’t waste their time with a candidate who doesn’t present well. Job seekers know this, but in preparing a recent story on How to Work with Executive Recruiter, our editors and reporters heard from many recruiters who said job seekers often overlooked them and treated phone initial interviews with the recruiter as a formality, dressed casually to meet them or worse, harassed them like a short order cook.
Good advice, according to the recruiters and HR manager’s quoted in the story is to treat every encounter like the most important encounter and do what you can to make the recruiters job easier.
Additionally, O’Donnell offers a top ten reasons a recruiter rejected you.
For further reading on working with executive recruiters and looking and acting your best on the job search:
- Step-by-Step: Your Role – And the Recruiter’s
- Why Employers Use Executive Recruiter
- Lose the ‘Frump Factor,’ Win the Job
- Dressing for Every Network Occasion
- Hold The Phone Interview: Be Nice to Callers