Earlier this month I had a lovely conversation with a friend of a friend of a friend who wanted to pick my brain about getting a job in higher education. We had a great chat about her goals and what she could do to land her dream job and as she got off the phone she emphasized how helpful my advice was. She shared that even though she knew that she should be doing all these things in her job search, she felt like she needed permission from someone who was on the receiving end of email inquiries, LinkedIn messages, and informational interview requests...someone like me.
I love calls like these and despite the fact that my schedule is filled with them, they never really get old to me. I think this is, in part, because I am an accidental recruiter. In my mind, I’m not a real fancy recruiter...I’m simply someone who was on the receiving end of several broken hiring and people management systems who got fed up and decided to give it a shot and see if I could do better. I can’t really believe I have the privilege and opportunity to demystify the hiring process for candidates every day.
I don’t lump myself in with other recruiters because I’m actually something better...I’m just like you! I remember how daunting it is to start a job search, how confusing it is to stare at a blank word document and feel the pressure of writing a cover letter that will make a hiring manager weak in the knees. In many ways, I arrived to the recruiting world as an undercover job searcher and quickly figured out that there are so many secrets to landing a job that really don’t need to be kept secret.
I’m excited to have this space to share more of my musings and will absolutely be sharing some of my secrets with all of you. I’ll also be compiling all my best advice, tips and tricks for a brand new DRG course called Opportunity Knocks: How to Tell Your Story, Leverage Your Network, and Land the Job You Want, which you can register for starting today!
As I work to prepare my curriculum and jam-pack it with all the advice I wish someone had told me...I just couldn’t wait until August to drop some knowledge. So, please enjoy my top three tips for job hunters (aka things I wish I knew as a candidate aka things I wish my candidates knew aka tips from a recruiter who’s actually just like you).
- Remember the goal of recruiters and hiring managers is to find amazing candidates. I’ve noticed a lot of hesitation and trepidation around reaching out to hiring managers and recruiters. Some may disagree with this, but it’s my belief that it’s my job to find awesome people to put in front of hiring managers. And it’s hiring manager’s responsibility to hire top talent. If you truly believe you’d be a great fit for a position, find a common connection to make an introduction or reach out directly to the hiring manager or recruiter to introduce yourself. Be sure to be respectful of their time and come with actual concrete questions to determine whether or not you’d be a fit (Hint: do NOT ask them to simply tell you more about the job). In doing so, you are helping them do their job by identifying a potentially great candidate. My day is seriously made when I am struggling with a search and a great candidate slides into my LinkedIn Inbox only to self-identify.
- Keep technology in mind. A lot has changed in the hiring world in the past few years, let alone decade, and recruiters rely heavily on technology to do their jobs. Take this into consideration as you pursue your search – be sure to view your resume on your phone and computer screen to see how they look (you wouldn’t believe how many times I look at resumes on my phone). Make sure key terms in the job posting are also in your resume and LinkedIn profile. And, please, please…please! Put your last name in the title of your resume. Make it easy for me to find you!
- If at first you don’t succeed - stay in touch! If you really hit it off with an employer but they make the final offer to someone else, it doesn’t have to be over. If you receive generally positive feedback but someone else was simply more qualified or a better fit, be sure to express your ongoing interest, ask for them to keep you in mind, and stay in touch! Previous finalists are a great source of candidates for many organizations and one of my favorite places from which to source because they already made it past the rigors of a previous hiring process.
Are you in the middle of a job search? What are your biggest questions? I’d love to know what you guys want to know. Tell me in the comments below and be sure to sign up for the DRG Professional Development Course where I’ll dive deeper into these tips and many more. You’ll learn how to best reach out to recruiters, how to incorporate those keywords into your resume and LinkedIn profile and how to stay connected with employers throughout your search. Register before July 31 using the code PRESALE and you'll save $50 and get a free (!!!) 15 minutes to pick my brain.
Stay tuned for more exciting news from the DRG Group - there is much more to come!
This post was written by DRG Group Member Kathleen Casanova. Kathleen is the Executive Recruiter and Director of Talent Development in the University Development Office at the University of Texas at Austin. In her roles, she has helped hire hundreds of people into their dream jobs and launched formal recruitment, metrics and performance management, diversity and inclusion, internal communications, employee engagement, training and development, and onboarding programs. She will be hosting the DRG professional development course Opportunity Knocks: How to Tell Your Story, Leverage Your Network, and Land the Job You Want starting August 28, 2018. Register before July 31 using the code PRESALE and save $50!