Why a Recruiter Can’t “Get You a Job”

You guys know that job seekers are my heart. I have used this blog, speaking platforms and my work in general for the last 4 years to bring awareness regarding the treatment of job seekers, help those job seekers build strategies for their job search and try my best to match job seekers with jobs when I can.

But I can’t get you a job.

Nor can any other recruiter out there.

At least not in the way you are hoping.

As any recruiter can tell you, LinkedIn is fertile ground for job seekers reaching out to recruiters and vice versa. When you have the words “recruiter”, “headhunter” or the like in your profile, you get tons of connections requests from job seekers. And that’s ok. I never mind the requests and am happy to help a job seeker when I can.

Here’s what I do mind.

I mind the messages that come the second after I accept the request that say, “can you get me a job” with no other context or information. Worse, are the individuals who follow up with subsequent messages and even start calling asking me how I’m going to help them.

I’m going to need you to help yourself first.

I get what being a job seeker does to the psyche. I was there. Laid off, three month old in tow with no clue what to do next. I know the worry and fear that comes from a lack of return phone calls from what must be millions of resumes. I get that this frustration can make you do things you normally wouldn’t do….like send unprofessional messages with no context and beg for help.

I totally get it, but I want to give you an alternative.

Craft your message with the perspective of the reader in mind. That recruiter you have just connected with works for a company (or in my case, a variety of companies). She or he can only fill positions they have been hired to fill or that they have open in their company. They can’t create jobs. They also have no idea who you are, what you are about or what part of “getting a job” you need help with. Are you asking for a resume review or an interview? Just asking if they can get you a job doesn’t tell them anything or give them any reason to help.

I’m not suggesting that it isn’t ok to reach out to recruiters. I’m not even going to give you five ways to “get to know the recruiter” first before reaching out. If you want to connect and send a message for help I think you should try that. Just please, for the love of pancakes, give the recruiter something to work with.

Here is what I suggest.

Be Honest:
Let’s face it. You didn’t connect with them because you find their background fascinating or because you are just looking to grow your network. You need a job and they have open jobs. Be honest about why you are connecting. You are a job seeker and you are wondering if they can help.

Explain Yourself:
This is your first chance to sell yourself. What have you done and what are you looking for? Be brief but thorough. Give the recruiter enough that they immediately know whether they may have a job opening now or in the future that fits your background.

Don’t Ask for Anything:
Here’s the absolute truth about recruiters. We like finding candidates who fit our open roles. If that recruiter who gets your message feels that you could be what they are looking for, they will reach out. They will ask for more. They will. I promise. Asking them to look at your resume or have a “brief call with you so you can explain your background further” is not going to get them to do these things. Go back to point two above. If they have something that fits what you describe, they will reach out. Which leads me to.

Don’t Expect a Response:
Even if you do all of this well, they still many not respond. I can’t tell you why, I just know that it can happen. I’ve certainly been guilty of not responding for one reason or another even though I have the best intentions to do so. The recruiter may not respond to your perfectly crafted message and you are going to have to be ok with that.

I know being a job seeker can be frustrating, but you don’t want to compound the problem by sending out messages that get you know where and only add to your frustration. Next time you want to reach out to a recruiter try the above steps instead to see if it might increase your response rate. It certainly can’t hurt right?

To read the original post on Acacia Solutions, please click here







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