Recruiters and Headhunters

Do you like recruiters? Do you have an opinion on them?

If a recruiter has ever found a job and placed you there, you must have high praise for them. And of course, their biggest wish is that later when you are the hiring manager, you will call only them. Most of the time, the fee that a recruiter gets for placing you is equal to 20% to 30% of your first year’s salary. The hiring company pays this, not you. There are also “recruiting” companies that charge you, although I have chosen to never use one. In my career, recruiters were wonderful for me when I was at the level of a staff accountant or even a senior accountant. As I moved into management positions, it seems I do a better job of finding the job for me than they have. However, that may also just be a product of the times. In the 1990’s, a company would make up a job description with 10 requirements and be happy if they could find someone that had 3 of them. Today, a candidate better have 12 of the company’s 10 requirements just to get an interview.

In my shotgun approach to the job search, recruiters are always a part. Remember: “Never Say No To Yourself”. So, why not also let them be looking for you. Here are some things to remember about your relationship with recruiters:

  1. Register with as many as you can find. Last time I was looking, I was with 50 different recruiters. The problem is about 10% of the recruiters you sign up with will really be working hard for you. Also, a hiring manager will only call 1 or 2 recruiters. They will say: “Here is what I need, send me 3 resumes.”  If you are not with that recruiter, you are not up for that job.
  2. Tell each one you are only working with them.
  3. NEVER give a recruiter a list of the companies that you have already applied to. A recruiter will tell you they need a list of the companies that you have already applied to. Their reason is that they don’t want to submit you for the same job. The reality is they are looking for you to do the marketing part of their job for them. By giving a recruiter a list of positions that you have applied for, you are actually giving them a list of companies that are looking to fill open positions. The recruiter will then try and send another of their candidates up for the position. Tell the recruiter that you just started looking and the ads you have applied to have been “blind ads” (the company was confidential).
  4. Call and check-in. After meeting a recruiter, call at least once a week to check-in and remind them that you are ready for a new job.
  5. Connect with them on LinkedIn. A lot of the recruiters will post a brief description of a position they are trying to fill. However, you must be connected with them to see it. They almost always accept a request to connect and it is a quick way to increase your number of connections.
  6. Keep a business card.  When you meet with a recruiter, be sure to get a business card. In my experience, I have found that recruiters change companies frequently.
  7. Find recruiters through ads. A lot of the jobs posted on websites like Careerbuilder and Monster, and even in your local newspaper, are actually ads placed by a recruiter. It is a good way to find them and get your foot in the door.

 

Perfect Job Description

Thumbs UpCreate a 1 to 2 sentence “perfect job” description, being very specific. For example:

I am looking for a senior financial management position, like CFO or Controller, with a small to mid-sized company in the Atlanta area.

Memorize it!!  You will use this exact description every time that you speak to anyone about your job search.

The 500 List and LinkedIn

About 25 years ago, my father was working on his Master’s Degree. What is interesting is that my Dad never got a Bachelor’s degree. He was accepted to a Master’s program based on his business accomplishments. As part of this program, they had guest speakers come in. One of these speakers began his lecture by asking if anyone in the room had ever looked for a job. Of course, everyone in the room raised their hands. He then said, I can guarantee you a job offer in 2 weeks if you do what I am about to tell you. At this point, everyone is on the edge of their seats. He said: the first thing you do is make a list of 500 people that you know. LinkedInNow most people can easily come up with 20 names, maybe even 30 names. But, this list is more than your good friends and family. It is anyone that with a sentence or 2 would sort of know who you are. For example: “We took that class together” or “Our kids go to school together” or “We go to the same Church”. The man said, once you have this list, call each of them and let them know specifically what you are looking for (see our post on the perfect job description under “Job Hunting Tips”). Of these 500 people, 10 will know of an opening that fits you. Another 10 won’t know of one while you are on the phone, but will think of one and call you back within a week. That’s 20 potential jobs that you get to choose from.

Now, LinkedIn has come into the business world to do all of this for you, and a whole lot more. If you have not already done it, create your free LinkedIn profile (www.linkedin.com). Your goal is for 100% completeness. After adding your resume with at least 3 jobs, you achieve 100% by also adding the following:

  1. At least 50 connections
  2. Profile photo
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Education
  5. At least 3 skills
  6. Industry and postal code
  7. Get at least 3 recommendations (these can replace references on your resume)
  8. Give at least 3 recommendations

You need to use as many “key” words as possible so that your profile comes up in “key” word searches.

After your LinkedIn profile is complete, and you have received several recommendations of your work, put the web address of your profile on your resume. Put it at the top, right after your name, address, phone and e-mail. I also recommend you adding it to your e-mail signature.

Job Hunting Tips

Paper Money

There are 2 things that I am sure that you have heard before:

  1.  Looking for a job is a full-time job, and
  2.  You should expect to spend 1 month looking for every $10,000 / year that you are asking for ($50,000 salary will take 5 months to find).

The problem is that most people spend about 6 hours a week looking for a job. Think of how you can shorten that time to find the perfect job by increasing the hours spent each week.

The Ultimate Marketing Tool – Your Resume

Your resume has only one job: to get you an interview —- not to get you the job. If you are sending out a lot of resumes to jobs that you fit and you are not getting any interviews, then your resume is not doing its job. Change It!!

Never forget what Albert Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

If you have never been a hiring manager, let me tell you a little about their process. They place an ad for a position and then receive 100-200 resumes (or more). They are NOT going to read them all. Your resume in that stack has about 3-5 seconds to catch their eye and make them want to read more. Don’t waste those seconds!! For example, years ago the job placement office at my college said they would only work with me if I put “Education” first on my resume. If I had, I would have wasted my 3-5 seconds on telling a hiring manager that I went to college. That does not get me an interview as most people in the stack had gone to college.

Here are the key elements to what I think is a great resume (in this order):

  1. Summary:  This should be about 2-3 sentences that summarize your experience and tell why you are perfect for the job they have open.
  2. Professional Experience: This is the biggest section on your resume. You should list each position you have held. Include the following:
    1. Name of the company, City and State, Description of the company including industry and annual revenue if known. Years you were employed there.
    2. Job Title with short summary of duties.
    3. VERY IMPORTANT: Bullet points of accomplishments. Include numbers wherever possible.
  3. Technical Skills: List the software or hardware or equipment that you know how to use.
  4. Education: List any college degrees and/or special classes that you have taken
  5. Personal: Married, Children, Interests, etc.

Your resume should be easy to read and not more than 2 pages. Make sure that your name and contact info is on each page.

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