Looking for a Job? Top 10 Tips from a Seasoned Recruiter

Whether you’re new to the job market or a seasoned professional exploring a change-in-scenery, looking for a job can be daunting.  As a recruiter I see easy-to-avoid missteps throughout the job search process every day. Before you apply to a job, read these tips! They just might help you land your next dream job.

1. Apply to jobs for which you qualify. Applying for a stretch job is fine, but if you just graduated you probably aren’t going to qualify for a VP position. Keep in mind that recruiters may not take you seriously if you apply to all levels.

2. Develop Your LinkedIn profile to read like a resume. Keep it current and relevant to the type of jobs you are seeking.

3. Take all feedback gracefully. If you are turned down for a position, keep in mind that likely it’s because you don’t match the profile needed for the role. It’s a small world and recruiters work on lots of jobs. If you gracefully accept the news and help the search to end on a good note, a recruiter will definitely keep you in mind for future opportunities.

4. Send recruiters more than one option. When a recruiter asks for your availability for an interview, take the time to offer various options. Recruiters’ calendars fill up fast as we talk with a LOT of people.

5. Take a breath. Use social cues even if your interview is over the phone. Know when to wrap up an answer (or at least ask the recruiter if they want to hear more). I promise recruiters don’t want you to take 30 minutes to answer one question; in fact, they probably only block off 30 minutes for the whole screening interview.

6. Stay away from sending your resume to everyone in the company. Yes, you should use your network to get a job … but be selective. Spreading your resume too broadly across a company can cause confusion and ultimately lead to your candidacy being put at risk.

7. Send thank you emails or hand-written notes. Thank you notes still matter very much (click to tweet). Take the time to write a compelling thank you note and proof it.

8. Ensure your social profiles are appropriate or at least take steps to prevent prospective employers from seeing them. In today’s digital age, social footprints are important in nearly all professions. Recruiters will undoubtedly look at them.

9. Avoid offering recruiters gifts. Recruiters can’t take them and it makes them feel uncomfortable (and, also could make you seem a bit desperate).

10. Be yourself. Finding the right job and the right culture fit is critically important, both for you and the company. Honestly representing your work experience and your strengths will help you land the job you want.

Do you have any other interview tips? Feel free to share them in the comments section below … and happy job hunting!

In her current role as Partner, Global Talent Acquisition at Ketchum, Michele manages the recruiting function for the agency, helping to bring top talent into the organization. She worked at Ketchum from 1996-2003, working her way up to become the VP/HR Manager for Ketchum West. Michele then boomeranged back to Ketchum in 2008, after spending four years working as an executive recruiter at one of the top search firms in the Bay Area, specializing in public relations and marketing. Michele has over 15 years of human resources experience, with an emphasis in staffing. Prior to her tenure at Ketchum, Michele worked for Film Realite, a commercial production company and for the YMCA. Follow her on Twitter here: @MicheleL