Making it past that initial job application phase to reach an interview is one of the biggest hurdles job seekers face. It can feel like you’re sending your information into a black hole. And, more often than not, you probably never hear anything back.
It is possible, though, to make it past the recruiter and land an interview, and eventually the job. So we asked Joe Paquette, a hiring professional and consultant at Express Employment Professionals, what job seekers need to know about getting past the recruiter. And here’s what he had to say:
“We all submit our resumes to a website and then cross our fingers and wait,” Joe shared. “But, the truth is, you may never make it to the recruiter’s desk. There might be hundreds of applications.”
However, there is a way to overcome that – you have to make an impression. “When a recruiter goes to open a job application, they’re instantly looking for something that sparks their attention,” Joe said.
Specifically, Joe has found three ways job seekers can make that necessary impression.
1. Use the Right Lingo
When filling out an application, use the buzz words or keywords used in the company’s description of the position, Joe explained. Also, take those same words and phrases and include them in your resume. For instance, if you’ve been using certain descriptive phrases for your past job responsibilities, but the job description describes the same responsibilities slightly different, rewrite your information to mirror what the employer is looking for. “You don’t want to lie or mislead the recruiter,” clarified Joe. “But you want something that immediately alerts the recruiters that you have the experience they want.” This also applies to job titles. If your former title was Lead Accountant, but the hiring employer refers to the same type of position as Staff Accountant, include both titles in your application and resume.
2. Find An Advocate
After you apply through the company’s normal job application process, ask a current employee you might know to forward your information to the recruiter. “Usually, especially at bigger companies, you can find someone you know who will speak on your behalf,” Joe encouraged. “This sets you apart from everyone else in the queue.” And, yes, it is okay that the recruiter will receive your information twice. Once they get the referral from your contact, they’ll look back through all the applications and pull yours to the top of the pile.
3. Make A Connection
You need to make it your goal to have direct contact with the recruiter after you’ve submitted your application, explained Joe. If you have a contact at the company, then get the recruiter’s name, email, and phone number. You may have to do your homework through social media and internet searches to find their contact information if you don’t know another employee there. In your call or email to the recruiter, you can provide a list of references or describe in a few paragraphs specifically how your experience matches the job description. “Anytime you can take that second step and draw the line to connect your experience to the job, that’s what you need to do,” confirmed Joe. “Just don’t become a stalker – only make one connection and then leave them alone.”
Getting past the recruiter is possible; it just takes some extra effort. “The main thing, though,” Joe said, “is to not give up.”
Keep applying to the jobs that match your experience and interest, and eventually your effort will pay off.
How do you ensure your application or resume is seen by the recruiter? Let us know in the comments section below!
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.