What Recruiters Want You to Know about Getting a Job
Remember when you left an interview that you thought went well, but as you drove back home, you started to point out the flaws in your performance. “Oh, why didn’t I say this about my experience?” “Wow, I really shouldn’t have said that…”
I felt this way when I was on the interview trail, so don’t worry. These thoughts are normal. However, after authoring my first book “Ties to Tattoos”, I learned that there might be things that people don’t realize they are doing wrong. Recruiters know what they are doing, so I sat down with a few of them to talk about what people should know before they even apply for a job.
Here’s the top 10 tips:
1. “Be qualified for the position you apply for…please.”
Don’t apply for a job just to apply. Applying for a job you don’t qualify for will land your application in the trash. Always read the description before applying. If you don’t have the qualifications that they include, then don’t apply. Take some time to go through the job board to find a job that pertains to you. If you can’t find anything, submit your resume to our database. That way, we can pull your resume from our database when the right job comes up.
2. “Your resume shouldn’t be hard to read.”
Recruiters will take on average about 6 seconds to review your resume for required qualifications. If you have a long or cluttered resume, the recruiter won’t be able to read it. Please don’t include multiple colors, pictures, or graphics in your resume. It’s distracting.
3. “We will contact you, so make sure the number is reliable.”
When a recruiter receives your resume, or finds it on a job board, they will call. Make sure the phone number is reliable and won’t be disconnected. If you must, add an alternate phone number to make sure you can be reached. If the alternate phone number is not owned by you, be sure the phone owner is aware you are including it on your resume.
Also, if a recruiter contacts you, don’t put them on hold. They’ll always ask you if it’s a good time to talk. Be honest. If it’s not, then they can schedule another time to talk about the position.
4. “We’re looking at your social media.”
Clean up your social media page. Recruiters are looking you up on social media to see how you are as a person.
5. “Research is more important than you think.”
Think of it as homework. If you don’t do it, then you’ll fail the interview. Interviewers will ask you “Did you have a chance to visit our website,” “What do you know about our company,” or “Why are you interested in working for us?” They want to know that you are organized, efficient, and proactive enough to prepare for this interview by investigating their company.
6. “Be respectful…we’re human, too.”
It’s the job of a recruiter to find candidates for open positions and to place people in the best-fitting job. However, they also deserve respect for the hard work they are doing for you.
Be early, but not too early. Getting to an interview early is a sign of respect and getting there too early can be annoying. Make sure you get to the interview at least 10 minutes and no more than 15 minutes before the interview.
Turn off your phone before the interview, not just on vibrate. Having your phone go off during an interview is very distracting and rude. If you forget and it goes off, recruiters are understanding, but quickly turn it off and put it away.
Don’t chew gum in the interview. This is so distracting and many recruiters think it’s disrespectful.
7. “An interview does not include a ‘plus one.’”
This one is really surprising! When I spoke to some of the recruiters, I learned that some people think it’s acceptable to bring children or significant others to their job interview. It’s not… No matter how sick your child is or if you can’t find a babysitter, you should not bring your child with you to an interview. Instead, reschedule the interview. Some people even bring their significant other to the interview, which is even more unprofessional. Please don’t. If they’re your ride, leave them in the car or have them drive around until after the interview.
8. “How you dress can influence our overall decision.”
Our expectation is for you to dress professionally and conservative. If for any reason, you can’t afford to purchase professional outfits, then check out thrift shops, such as Goodwill or Salvation Army. Interview attire doesn’t have to mean breaking bank at the mall.
Tattoos and other body art should be covered. Some tattoos can’t be concealed, so the best way to deal with it is by addressing it in the interview. Ask you interviewer if your body art could impact your candidacy for the job. If you address the elephant in the room and draw the conversation back to what you can bring to the company, it will show the interviewer how serious you are about the position. Just remember to be direct, but courteous.
9. “At least look a little interested.”
Take notes during your interview and look interested in what the interviewer is saying. Make excellent eye contact as they are speaking, as this is an indicator of interest and respect. Pay attention to everything they talk about. Recruiters know what they are doing, but if you don’t pay attention and take their advice, then they can’t do much for you.
10. "Following up is great, stalking the recruiter is not.”
Well, “stalking” is over-exaggerating, but continuously calling and emailing the recruiters can be very annoying. It’s important to follow up, but be sure to allow appropriate time between the times your follow-up. A week after the interview is a good time to follow-up. They are working to find you a job and will keep in touch with their progress.
Sherri Elliott-Yeary, the Generational Guru and best selling author of Ties to Tattoos, Turning Generational Differences into a Competitive Advantage, is a speaker, coach and trainer in the area of Human Resources and Talent Management. Sherri specializes in helping employers maximize their human capital by collaborating across the generational gap. Her expertise in human capital management and organization includes: workforce planning, company culture, training, assessments, HRIS implementation, regulatory compliance, strategic alignment, payroll, compensation and benefit programs. Learn more at generationalguru.com.