Think Like a Recruiter to Land Your Dream Job

Turn the tables to maximize on self-marketing

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Job hunting can be annoying, frustrating, and extremely tiresome since there is so much competition in the market. Similar to job seekers, employment recruiters are often overwhelmed by the astronomical number of people who are applying for jobs. Consequently, they typically do not have time to slowly sift through hundreds of résumés and applications to fill one vacancy announcement.  To this end, one of the biggest ways you can stand out during your job search is by thinking like a recruiter.

According to statistics, 73% of recruiters have hired someone who was introduced or discovered through a social media/networking site.  To gain insight on how you can appeal to online recruiters, I turned to Jim Stroud (@jimstroud), author of Résumé Forensics: How To Find Free Résumés and Passive Candidates on Google.  In addition to writing career-related books and blogs, Stroud is the director of sourcing and social strategy for Bernard Hodes Group where he develops employment strategies for both recruiters and job seekers.

Below are the tips Stroud shared exclusively with BlackEnterprise.com on how you can stand out and get hired in an overcrowded job market:

Promote your exemplary skills. Prevent your résumé from being thrown in the trash or overlooked by highlighting exactly what recruiters want to see.

Typically, recruiters are too busy to “think” about a résumé. One job posting on Monster can generate 200+ résumés in less than a day and most of those résumés will not be qualified for the job. Would you want to look at 200+ résumés a day? After a few moments of scanning each one, recruiters pick up on the trend of unqualified applicants and begin to scan more quickly, just so they can get through the stack. In this way, it is easy to overlook a great candidate because the applicant didn’t do an adequate job in promoting themselves to the recruiter via their résumé.

What a recruiter wants to see at a glance on your résumé is:

  • All the skills required to do the job
  • That you worked for some of their competitors
  • That you have the required amount of education
  • Something extra that proves you have an expertise in your field

Don’t wait until you are unemployed to search for a job.

Many recruiters focus on candidates that are already working verses those that are looking for work. And to be fair, it is not always the fault of the recruiter as they are operating under the direction of a hiring manager. For a moment, consider the position of the recruiter. Their job is to fill the jobs they are recruiting for in a timely manner; or else, they might lose their job. So, all that being said, recruiters want to get around bottlenecks and get as many good people hired as they can. Therefore, they often tend to have an affinity for applicants that are already employed.

Practice social responsibility. Don’t just protect your online reputation, but intentionally create a good social identity.

The top mistake that job hunters often make is not monitoring their online reputation but rather, not cultivating a positive online reputation. It is not so difficult to search on Google for the terms “fired over Facebook” or “fired over tweets” and find millions of search results leading to people who had a serious lapse of judgment resulting in them being fired.

It is an unwritten rule nowadays that recruiters will Google your name to see what they can see and consider it when making their hiring decisions. However, they will not be so foolish as to tell you that they are doing this. As a job seeker, it is in your best interest to make sure nothing negative can be found about you online. Having done that, you should be “planting seeds” across the internet so that when a recruiter researches your name, they see evidence of your consistent professionalism and industry knowledge.

Use social media as a career professional. Actively engage with your social media sites to become attractive to online recruiters.

  • Spend quality time on LinkedIn developing your profile. LinkedIn is the #1 network that recruiters use and they will often go there first to find people before posting a job. Why? If they can do a search on LinkedIn and find the “perfect” person for a job, why post it on Monster and deal with 200+ résumés from (mostly) unqualified people that are tossing their résumés against the wall and hoping it will stick?
  • Join LinkedIn Groups that are focused on your industry. Why? Recruiters visit those forums too in order to find people with expertise enough to discuss the issues related to a certain field.
  • Create a profile on Google Plus. Google Plus is Google’s answer to Facebook. Posting substantive content regularly on Google Plus is a good way to come up in a Google Search when recruiters are looking to fill various positions.
  • Create a profile on About.me and Flavors.me. These sites are like virtual business cards. Add your information and it will be one more thing that could come up in a Google search.

Antoine Moss, Ph.D., (@2PositiveTweets) is a nationally recognized resource on internships, early career achievement, leadership and motivation. CEO and founder of CEO Style Consulting L.L.C., Moss empowers professionals and organizations to reach their full potential, and serves as speaker, workshop instructor and consultant. The author of Learn to Intern CEO Style, Moss has been a featured expert on outlets including Fox 8 TV News and George Fraser’s 2011 Power Networking Conference.

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