6 Outstanding Interview Tips That Every Person With ADD Needs to KnowNovember 9, 2023
Shift Happens: A Guide to Managing Your Recruiter
A career changer’s journey feels like running a marathon through the universe, but instead of sneakers, you’re wearing ankle weights and flippers. I forgot to mention the location of this marathon is in a molasses pond. If that weren’t enough, you are also experiencing a crisis of faith, ego, and purpose – you get the picture. This journey is an obstacle course of cosmic proportions and is not easy!
Even deciding that you are ready for a change of career is a huge milestone. Unfortunately, before you even get to celebrate (or freak out about) your decision, you are already facing another challenge – interacting with the Recruiters on LinkedIn!
If you identify with anything I’ve described thus far, know that you are not alone in the universe. I will give you the inside scoop from someone who works on the other side of the hiring wall (it’s me; I am the informant). With my insider knowledge, I give you my ultimate LinkedIn Recruiter guide, which I affectionately call “Shift Happens: A Guide to Managing Your Recruiter,” crafted with care by me, your career transition companion (and real-life recruiter).
In this blog, I’ll dive into three actionable steps that you can put into practice today to gain the upper hand in your job search:
- Attracting Recruiter Attention
- Building Meaningful Connections
- Expressing Gratitude & Staying In Touch
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
It may seem like a no-brainer, but if you are seeking a job, you need to improve how you showcase your skills on your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is your digital billboard in the world of job searching. With over 58 million registered companies on the platform, you must present yourself as the best fit for your desired role. Here’s how to take your profile to the next level:
- Upload a high-resolution profile picture that looks like you! (Yes, your dog may be cool, but taking a photo with him means there is a 50/50 chance your employer won’t know who’s applying for the job.)
- Aim for 500+ connections to improve your visibility.
- Add keywords under your profile’s “skills” section that are relevant to your target role and industry in your profile. This helps Recruiters find you.
The Initial Communication
Once you have an optimized profile, you should start connecting with Recruiters and communicating with them. Messaging Recruiters on LinkedIn can seem daunting. You may find yourself wondering if you have what it takes. And you may tell yourself, “This is not my beautiful LinkedIn Profile!” and you may say to yourself, “My God, what have I done!?” Take a deep breath and remember that Recruiters are not just talking heads but human, too. Their job is to hire the best candidate for their client, so you have to show them how awesome you are. Keep the following information in mind as you make your connections.
Crafting Your Message
Please don’t make your Recruiter do more than they need to. Your goal is to be a solution, not a nuisance. Do you want to send them a novel? Don’t. How about you ask them to read your resume? Not gonna work. I promise a long message filled with requests will be left “on read” and forgotten. Instead, craft a brief and friendly introduction that expresses your interest in connecting. Avoid asking for a job directly, as building rapport is the goal you should be aiming for. Get to know them, develop a professional relationship, meet with them, and you will be the first person that comes to their mind when the opportunities arise. Treat them like a human!
If you are already following the advice from this blog, that means you have fine-tuned your LinkedIn profile with your skills and endorsements. This will make you stand out and keep you on the Recruiter’s radar. If they are responsive and the conversation continues, ask if they are available for a brief call to hear more about their company. A proactive (but not presumptive) approach will take you far.
Nailing Your Interview(s)
Imagine this perfect scenario: everything has gone your way up to this point; you’ve made a positive connection with a Recruiter, and they express interest in scheduling a call with you. This is likely a pre-screen to ensure your basic skills and desired compensation align with the position. Typically, the Recruiter will ask you questions like, “Why are you looking for a new position?” or “Could you share a bit about your professional background and experiences?” Be specific when discussing your experience.
When discussing your technical skills, stating something like “I know all the scientific techniques and instruments” might sound like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Instead, try something like “In my college labs, I gained hands-on experience with aseptic technique and microscopy. I also learned about cell culture and developed a general knowledge of the process.” This response provides context and specifics about what you did.
Foster Genuine Conversations With Curiosity
Be bold and ask questions that show your interest in the Recruiter as a person to strengthen the professional relationship. The START method is something we will discuss in our future online Career Changers course (Launching January 8, 2024). You are probably familiar with the STAR method for interviewing, but our twist includes the last T, and it will make you stand out! T is for Throwback Question, where you ask a question related to the interviewer’s original question. This will turn your interview into a conversation and help you gather important information that no other candidates are asking about. You’ll have the opportunity to show them empathy and potentially solve the problem right on the spot.
EXAMPLE: A response to the question “What are your strengths?”
“My strength is adaptability. I can keep cool in changing circumstances and deliver high-quality and consistent results. What skills do you find to be most impactful for this position?”
Remember what you learned during the first interview. You can use it to your benefit for any follow-up interviews you have lined up. At the end of your call, ask when you can expect to hear back regarding the next steps. Asking will indirectly communicate that you take their time and consideration seriously.
Express Gratitude and Stay In Touch
You can follow up with the Recruiter, but don’t send multiple emails or phone calls as this is certain to come across as harassment, and also, it’s annoying! Recruiters hire for multiple positions and are the go-between for numerous candidates and hiring managers. They likely have to wait for feedback before proceeding to the next step. Sending an initial “thank you” email on the day of your call is a very nice touch. Flattery won’t get you the job, but genuine appreciation is another way to help you stand out.
If you were given an expected timeframe for an update, and it’s come and gone, check in with the Recruiter. A brief message like this will suffice:
Hello [Recruiter Name],
Is there any news regarding my application for the [Position Name] position at [Company Name]? I am genuinely excited about the opportunity and look forward to your response. Have a super day!
BONUS – If a Recruiter Contacts YOU
When a Recruiter reaches out, respond promptly and express your interest in learning more. This isn’t the time to play hard to get! Thank the Recruiter for reaching out. Ask for the job description, company info, and salary range. (Please note, sometimes Recruiters will only want to divulge the company once they receive your agreement to not reach out directly to their client or the company). Finish your message with positivity and curiosity.
Hello [Recruiter Name],
Thank you for contacting me regarding the [Job Title] position. I’m very interested and would like to receive more information about the job, the company, and the salary range. I’ll respond within 24 hours of receiving this info for the next steps.
Have a Super Day!
Navigate the Career Landscape with Confidence
At the end of the day, Recruiters are just regular folks like you and me. They’re on a quest to find the best match for their job opening, and if you positively impact them, they’ll be eager to have you on board for this job or any exciting future opportunities. Sometimes, the stars align for a better fit down the road, so remember, it’s all about keeping that bridge unburned and your connections bright.
So, get out there, connect with those Recruiters, and make your mark on the world of professional networking and job hunting. As you continue your journey through the ever-shifting landscape of career opportunities, remember the wisdom of my ‘Shift Happens’ Guidebook: attract their attention, build a meaningful connection, express gratitude, and keep in touch.
Have a Super day!
Hey, I’m Erin⚡️
I am fueled by a lifelong passion for creativity and adventure. From crafting stories to experimenting in the kitchen or engaging in high-intensity activities like boxing and weightlifting (with roller derby on my bucket list), I thrive on new experiences. I can’t help but channel my passion into creating fun and meaningful content. Buckle up, let’s go!