Networking with Recruiters

Posted by Kathleen Smith

communicationEvery job search expert will tell you that you need to network. Especially with recruiters.

But how do you start? One key thing to remember is that we all communicate and network differently. Some people are very comfortable with all forms of electronic communication. Others prefer to interact over the phone or in person.

The challenge when you are trying to connect with a recruiter is that there typically isn’t a notification that says, “The best way to reach me is by using carrier pigeon or SnapChat.” Or guidance such as, “I only accept phone calls from 10am – 2pm on Tuesdays.”

Every recruiter has a different level of comfort with different types of communication, just like we all do. You may prefer email. Or you may feel that you’re more persuasive over the phone. If you are pursuing and cultivating a recruiter, you may want to adapt to their preferred method and style of communication for best results.

So how do you start? Ask.

If you apply for a job or otherwise engage with a recruiter ask them the best way for you to follow up with them, and to connect with them.

Kirsten Renner, ParsonsMore and more recruiters are using social media as a way to keep in contact with their network of candidates. According to Kirsten Renner, Talent Management with Parsons, “I try to make myself available in multiple ways so that candidates can use the approach they are most comfortable and familiar with to reach out and engage. For example, Twitter (@Krenner) , LinkedIn, email, etc.”

How about when you meet a recruiter at a hiring event?  “When I meet someone at a job fair who I want to hear back from, or who asks me for advice on engagement, I always advise them to pick a moment or a highlight from the interaction that they can reference in the subject of the email to the recruiter,” says Kirsten.

“Imagine you’re a recruiter and you are about to receive 100 post-event emails, all of which you intend to get back to if only time allowed.” The demands on a recruiters’ time and focus require that the job seeker needs to be creative, yet still professional, to assist the recruiter in knowing which candidate you are. “You might just open the email with the subject line, ‘Mary Jones, Cleared Job Fair, Studied at UVA, Cellular Network Engineer.’ Or, ‘Over-Certified Cyber BD Director, June 4 Job Fair, Go Red Sox,'” adds Kirsten.

Leslie Taylor, ICF InternationalLeslie Taylor, Senior Talent Pipeline Guru for ICF International points out that job seekers also need to consider who they are targeting for connection. “Take time to conduct research to learn which companies to contact and find out which companies are the best fit for you based on your career goals and aspirations” shares Leslie. “Do some research to avoid sending your resume to companies that do not recruit for positions in your field.”

Being flexible, persistent and doing your homework is key in starting and maintaining your networking relationships with recruiters. If you haven’t gotten feedback from a recruiter on the best method to use for communicating, pay attention to whether or how they respond to your communications. Focus on the tools where you find them to be the most responsive.

Start networking!



This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 10:34 pm

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