Knowing how to approach and interact with a recruiter can help get you to the interview process.
IT recruiters don't make final hiring decisions, but they do much of the legwork in the lead up. To get in front of a company hiring manager, you've first got to get onto the recruiter's radar and get his attention.
How to Introduce Yourself to a Recruiter
Email is the perfect vehicle for a first introduction to a recruiter. The phone takes too long, and social media is too casual, but sending a brief, professional email with a few of your qualifications in bullet-point format will send the message that you are a quality candidate worth looking at.
Although it may seem strange to email an IT recruiter out of the blue, part of what recruiters do is make connections with a large number of potential job seekers. You may be added to a list to get updates or at the very least, put into the recruiter's contacts list.
Once you have introduced yourself, connecting professionally on a social media site like LinkedIn may be a good next step. You want to connect with the recruiter's professional profile, not a personal one like on Facebook or Twitter. Do not inundate the recruiter with posts or requests. You want to be on the radar in a positive way, not as someone to avoid.
How to Get Past Resume Screening
When going after a specific position, a vital step is to get through whatever screening software the recruiter uses to sort through resumes. Make sure your education and experience fit the position's requirements, and use formatting tips that are common to most of these software programs, such as avoiding graphics, using text formatting, and listing the employer before the date in the work history section.
Recruiters are looking for the best talent possible to fill positions.
Applicant tracking software is notoriously picky about formatting, and no recruiter will even see the resume if it doesn't make it through the screening system. Taking a little time to give yourself the best chance of getting noticed is well worth the effort.
Keeping in Touch and Being Polite
Once you are on an IT recruiter's radar, keep in touch periodically whether or not you get the position you were initially after. If you know of other good candidates for positions you see listed, making a referral will be much appreciated by any recruiter. Another good way to keep in touch is to send helpful articles their way once in a while, saying, "I thought this piece might interest you." Recruiters are extremely busy, so don't abuse their time by overdoing contact. Daily is too much, and yearly is too little. Somewhere in between those two, you can find a happy medium.
If a recruiter does contact you with an opportunity, always be polite even when you don't think it's a fit or aren't interested. You never know what opportunities may come up in the future that may be perfect for you. A relationship with an IT recruiter is never a waste of time if you are looking to advance in your career.
GDH Consulting provides IT recruiting services to help find the best candidates for open positions. Contact us to find out how we can help you hire the best possible employees for your open positions.