According to a report from ABC News, 80% of jobs are currently found through a form of networking. In the currently saturated job market, you need to find ways to make yourself stand out in a sea of qualified applicants. One way to do this is to work with a recruiter in your field of interest.
Recruiters can be found on a variety of platforms, whether that be through email, on social media, or even in person. Since you don’t know which platform will catch the attention of a particular recruiter, it’s best to learn how to introduce yourself through each of these methods.
Email is one of the best methods for reaching out to a recruiter because they can respond at their convenience. First, if you are reaching out via email, make sure your email address is appropriate. If you don’t have a professional email account, this is a great time to put one together. This process can be as simple as creating a new Gmail account. If you don’t want your email to go to spam or be overlooked, it’s important to reach out in a professional manner.
Once you have the email address and are ready to create your email, the next step is coming up with a subject line. This is the first line the recruiter will see, so use it as an introduction. Simply Hired recommends that you include the position title and what sets you apart from other candidates. For example, “Marketing Manager position, MBA with 8 years of experience.” Another way is to include your name and the title of the job posting. This way, the recruiter will be quickly able to locate what job you’re referring to. An example of this subject line is “Human Resources Assistant Application- John Smith.”
In the body of the email, you want to have a specific reason for reaching out. One thing to remember is that recruiters aren’t “job finders” and most of the time they have job openings they are focusing on filling. Since they are reviewing hundreds of applications, they need a reason to make time for you. Explain who you are, why you are contacting them, how you got their contact information, and end with a question or statement that lets them know you are interested in the job. If you have a common connection or referral, make sure to include that in the body as well. Use this space as a brief cover letter, but make it short and sweet. Since recruiters are very busy individuals, your email should take them under a minute to read.
Lastly, be sure to tailor the email to the organization and specific position. You need to proofread it multiple times in order to catch typos and errors, which can make you look lazy and uninterested. If you don’t hear back within a week or two, feel free to send them another quick message to let them know you’re still interested. Your email might not have been on the top of their priority list, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in speaking with you.
A survey found that more than 90% of recruiters and hiring managers visit candidate social media sites when going through their screening process. With this in mind, there are a few things you can do to spruce up your social media presence and take advantage of different platforms in your job search.
Two of the best sites that you can use in your search are LinkedIn and Twitter. Focus your energy on updating your profile and finding ways in which you can both attract and locate recruiters. Starting with your profile, here are 3 small steps you can take to make the best impression on your profiles:
- Make sure your account is professional. On LinkedIn, you can edit your profile URL to be shorter and tailored to you by including all or part of your name. This will make your profile link more recognizable. On Twitter, this includes your handle name and your profile biography.
- Set your profile photo as a cropped headshot that is clear and professional. Use this photo for both social accounts.
- Take the time to create a good profile bio that explains who you are and what you’re searching for. Use keywords about your job interests and industry.
Having strong profiles will set you apart by showing recruiters that you’ve put the time and effort into creating a professional online presence. Another key to social success is updating your profile often, which means consistently posting on both LinkedIn and Twitter to keep both pages active and engaging. Post articles and tweets related to your fields of interest and create content that reflects who you are as a candidate.
When you have perfected your presence, you can start searching for recruiters and job postings. With a versatile platform like LinkedIn, there are a few different approaches you can take to both contacting and locating recruiters and job posts. LinkedIn has a specific Jobs section which makes it very easy to search for jobs and apply either on the site or through a redirected page. LinkedIn will also sometimes include the name of the employee who posted the job, so you can easily connect with and contact that individual directly from there.
You can also approach contacting recruiters on LinkedIn the same way as email by sending InMail messages to them. Start with a strong subject line and create a short introductory body paragraph the same way you would if you were constructing an email. If you don’t have specific jobs in mind, you can go on LinkedIn to follow companies that interest you as well as joining groups for candidates in your fields. This is a great way to find the right recruiters and locate the jobs that fit your qualifications. You can also find these recruiters by using the Advanced People Search tool and searching for recruiters in your job field.
On Twitter, a lot of companies tweet job postings with hashtags you can search for, such as #PRjobs or #ITjobs. You can also search for a specific organization on Twitter and locate employees by refining the search to only showing People to spot the employees who have the employer’s name in their bio. If they’re a recruiter, their profile will probably highlight that and you can start to follow them.
If you don’t want to network through online communication, one of the best ways to get the attention of a recruiter is finding a way to do this in person. These recruiters can be found through career fairs, networking events, and informational presentations. When meeting a recruiter, you should primarily focus on what materials you bring, what questions you ask, and how you present yourself.
To prepare, make sure to bring your resume, printed neatly and cleanly, and bring business cards if you have them. Make sure to have enough resumes to give out to anyone who might want one, you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you run out of copies. Also be prepared with a 30 second introduction including aspects of yourself such as who you are, what you do, your interests, experience, strengths, and goals. This is a quick chance for you to express your passion and give the recruiter a look at your personality and how you present yourself as a candidate.
Before you arrive, take a look at the organizations that are going to be there. Make sure to do your research. Be prepared to answer questions about why the organization interests you and also be prepared to ask questions about each one. You can ask questions about a broad range of topics, including their training programs, opportunities for advancement, company culture, and even why they personally joined that organization. You might want to bring something such as a notepad where you can jot down quick notes about what you learn or who you talk to. Try to collect business cards if possible so that you can follow up after your conversation and create a stronger connection.
When it comes to professional settings, it’s better to be overdressed than to be underdressed. If you know that the event has a professional dress code, such as a career fair, stick to the status quo and arrive in a suit or professional attire. If you aren’t sure of what attire is expected, don’t be afraid to go business professional. This will never go unappreciated when you are trying to make a solid first impression.
In the end, don’t be afraid of reaching out to recruiters in whichever way works best for you. Remember, you aren’t bothering them by reaching out because they want to find the best and most qualified candidates and you might be just the one they need. With this in mind, take the initiative to make the first move and show them that you’re what they’ve been looking for in a candidate.
Looking to connect with a Recruiter or Staffing Consultant at JOHNLEONARD? Reach out to us today so we can find a career match for you!