As a corporate recruiter I staffed for many entry level positions. These jobs typically received high volume of applications since lots of candidates met the basic requirements. We talked in previous posts about filtering resumes through ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and the importance of using the right key words to get your resume noticed. Another way to stand out is by reaching out to the recruiter to follow up on your application and express your interest in the position. It sounds obvious, I know, but you would be surprised by the small number of applicants who actually do that! Personally, I always at least looked at the resume of a candidate who contacted me to let me know he/she had applied online and was extremely interested in the job. So why not give it a try?
A few tips on reaching out to recruiters:
- Find the name of the recruiter and do some LinkedIn “stalking” (if you want to learn from the best, come spend some time with our Marketing Career Coach Victoria Farinas 🙂 ).
- If the recruiter has a LinkedIn profile: Do you have any shared connections? Do you have anything in common? Is the recruiter a UCF Alumni? Use whatever information you can find to make a “connection”. Recruiters might be more eager to listen if you can grab their attention with something they have an actual an interest in (try not to sound creepy, always start by saying, “I noticed on your LinkedIn profile that you________”).
- If the recruiter doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile: really recruiter?? Plan B: search for her/his email address. For example, if the recruiter name is Lisa Smith and she works at Verizon, google “Lisa.Smith@Verizon.com” and see if anything comes up. Twitter and Google+ might also come in handy.
- Draft a polite, concise, interesting message.
- Avoid cliché words (motivated, detailed-oriented, dedicated, driven, etc.).
- Focus on how you can help your future employer succeed/what you have to offer (vs what you are looking for/want to get out of the job).
- Show enthusiasm, interest and desire to work for that particular company. I get it, you are about to graduate, you don’t want to end up on your parents’ couch and would take any entry level position in your field. However, job hunting is a lot like dating. Would you date someone who wants to take you on a date only because you are a girl (“a job”) and he is lonely (“needs a job”)? I didn’t think so. Ask questions that show genuine interest in being part of the organization, such as what the recruiter enjoys about working for that particular company.
- Be sincere. Recruiters can detect “BS’ing”.
- Send your email, wait at least 2-3 days and then follow up with a phone call. Don’t be a stalker, if they don’t get back to you within a reasonable timeframe, move on.
- If the position has already been filled (sometimes it happens!) thank recruiters for their time and consideration and ask for feedback on your resume/application (and truly listen to what they have to say). Ask the recruiter if it would be ok to stay in touch and reinforce your interest to work for the company. Keeping the door open might help you being considered for another position. I always had candidates “on the back burner” I would reach out to as soon as I had new openings for a similar position.
Laura G. McDonough
Career Coach – Economics & Finance