6 Ways to Catch a Recruiter’s Eye
You’ve created your master resume, brushed up on your interviewing skills, and developed a template for the perfect cover letter. But what more can you do to catch that recruiter’s eye and land your dream job?
1. Know what you bring to the table
Take a good look at your skills and think critically about your career goals. Then, using that lens, look at the potential job. Can you tell right away your knowledge and expertise are a great fit for the role? That’s great news! Work on developing a quick pitch that covers all the bases. Now, if you are approaching or are approached by a recruiter, you won’t panic. You can speak with authority and sell your capabilities successfully.
2. Customize your resume
It’s good to develop that master resume—the one with everything on it. But you need to customize for every job you apply for. First, it will help you get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS). Use keywords from the job listing to tailor that master to match appropriately. Not only do you want to focus on the job listing, take a look at the company’s website as a whole and match the style and tone—is the organization serious and focused? Is it a startup with a playful persona? Whatever the “vibe,” rework your resume accordingly. The recruiter is not just looking for someone who checks all the boxes. They’re looking for someone who will fit into the culture.
3. Get to know the organization and its culture
While you are tailoring your resume, take a deep dive into the organization. Do some research—where does it stand in the marketplace? Who are its competitors? What does this company do well, and why do you want to be involved? Are there places you can clearly see you would be a good fit for? Are they missing something valuable you could contribute? As you think about what you offer, consider what they offer—is it a startup and you love to move at a fast pace? Are they a Fortune 500 company, and you are most at home in structured corporate settings? You should be able to speak knowledgeably with the recruiter and show them you have done your homework.
4. Use your social accounts as an extension of your resume
This will take planning, but it’s worth the time. It is a fact of life—most recruiters and employers look at social media to get a fuller picture of potential employees. You can use your platform to network and research. And you can also use it to promote. This will take consistency but commit to regularly sharing information that is relevant to your industry, use hashtags that will draw the right audience, and let those social accounts draw recruiters to you. While you’re at it, clean up that LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s 100 percent complete.
5. Make a connection
You have an opportunity to create a rapport with each person you speak with on the path to a new position—don’t waste it! If you get a chance to speak with the recruiter, ask them what they like about the company and their role. Developing a positive connection will not only help you decide whether or not the company is a good fit for you, it’s also a chance to make your first friend at your new job, and even if you aren’t chosen to go further in the process for this particular role, you could make an impression that will keep you top of mind for something else down the road.
6. Be honest
Be straightforward and direct about your capabilities and achievements. If you are 90 percent qualified and need to level up on a small portion of your potential responsibilities, let the recruiter know, and assure them you are an adaptive learner, and eager to develop in any areas needed. Here’s a secret—a job post is typically a wish list. No employer is expecting someone to have years of experience in every area. If you know you would be a great asset, be transparent about where you exceed their needs and where you will be doing a bit of catching up.
The job hunt can be stressful but stay optimistic. As of January 31, 2022, there were 11.3 million open jobs in the U.S. Your perfect fit is out there. It just might take a little time.