1. Pick up the phone! The reality is that as much as we would like to, recruiters simply don’t have the time to call each person who sends in their CV. This means that if your CV hasn’t done you justice for any reason, there is a risk your application could be overlooked. One way to overcome this and start a meaningful relationship with your recruiter is to pick up the phone and speak to them, after you have applied. This will give you the chance to sell yourself and bring your application to life in a way that a CV rarely can.
Tip: As recruiters we’re extremely busy so please bear with us! It’s a good idea to wait 48 hours after sending your CV to follow up with a phone call. This way there’s a good chance we will have had the chance to review your CV before you call.
Another tip! The best times to reach a recruitment consultant by phone are usually between 8am – 9am, during your lunch break and after 5pm. Between 9-12 and 2-5 they are likely to be speaking to clients and working on finding new opportunities for their candidates.
2. Let your personality shine: There’s a saying in recruitment that you’re only as good as your last candidate and in a competitive market, reputation is king. As recruiters we need to evaluate your skill set and its relevance to what our client needs before we’ll put you forward for a role – our clients are relying on us to find them the right people for their job, both in terms of skill-set and character. By giving us an insight into your personality, you’ll make it much easier for us to establish which companies are going to be a good match for you, helping us to recommend you to potential employers.
Tip: If they are doing their job properly, a good recruitment agency will invite you to come in and register with them in person before ever putting you forward for a role. It may seem like an extra hurdle to go through but it will give you the opportunity to build a relationship with your consultant, meet their colleagues and potentially be considered for other roles.
Meeting you in person and getting to know you means that we’ll only let you know about relevant roles and won’t waste your time with unsuitable opportunities. It also means we’re able to save our clients’ time by sending the details of the very best people for their role.
3. Try to stay open minded! There are times when candidates apply to roles they have seen advertised with the absolute certainty that the role is perfect for them. When the recruiter rejects their application, they can sometimes become quite defensive. If you find yourself in this situation please keep in mind that as consultants, we will be privy to more information than you will see in the job advert. Therefore, please be assured that if after speaking to you we decide not to take your application forward it will be with good reason.
The good news is, by making a good impression on your recruiter, you’ll be considered for a whole host of other jobs, many of which will never be advertised. Just because that particular role might not have been quite right, it doesn’t mean we can’t find you another role that is.
4. Optimise your CV: Some job boards and companies use special software to automatically filter or rank job applications by relevancy, meaning that your CV could potentially be automatically rejected or listed as a poor match before anyone ever sees it! To avoid this happening, it’s a good idea to analyse the job description and ensure that the skills, experience and seniority being asked for are reflected in your CV. By highlighting your relevant experience using keywords, your CV should come higher up in the recruiter’s priority list as someone they need to contact.
Tip: Using keywords will also help you attract the attention of recruiters on LinkedIn who use the search facility to find people with specific experience.
Another tip! Rather than allowing your personal profile to be filled with meaningless statements, make sure you include concrete achievements that show the value you have added in your roles e.g. saved the company £10,000 a year by negotiating supplier contracts. These achievements will impress the recruiter far more than generic statements.
These are just four ways you can stand out in a competitive marketplace. As recruiters we’d love to find jobs for each person who sends us their CV. In reality, with hundreds of CVs passing our desks every week, this is never going to be possible. While we recognise we won’t be able to help everyone, we aim to have a positive interaction with everyone we come into contact with. We produce lots of blogs (including this one!) and useful information to help you with your job search – you can find these in the blog section on this website. Good luck!