Tag Archives: recruiter

Poll: What Questions Do You Have for a Recruiter?

Movin’ On Up is powered by Express Employment Professionals, a staffing company with 35 years of helping people find jobs. That’s why you can trust us to know what we’re talking about.

You may have noticed that we sometimes post “Ask a Recruiter” blogs with comments from professional staffing consultants. These are the people who work with job seekers and new hires daily. We’ve covered everything from impressing a recruiter to highlighting volunteerism on a resume.

We want to tailor these blogs to your specific questions and concerns. This month’s poll is a single open-ended question: What questions do you have for a recruiter?

  • If you’ve ever had a question about how staffing companies work, now is the time to ask! Our experts are also happy to answer questions about the job search in general. Career advancement is fair game, too.

Let us know by answering our poll question!

All comments are completely anonymous, so feel free to ask anything you want. We’ll cover your responses in a Poll Results article next month, and then use that information in our blogs going forward.


How to Impress a Recruiter

Top tips from working recruiters

Many job applicants express frustration with the post-interview process due to not receiving any follow up. They want to know what they can do to improve future interview performance. However, interviewers are unable to provide this information, often because of potential legal issues or simply not having the time to write personalized letters for each applicant.

At Express Employment Professionals, our recruiters interview numerous job seekers every day. They know what works and what doesn’t, at both the staffing agency and client levels. We asked our top recruiters to tell us what they look for in job candidates, as well as characteristics job seekers should avoid.

What Makes a Great Job Candidate?


A promising candidate is one who arrives to an interview (either by phone or at the worksite) fully prepared.

“They come with a resume, references, and any supporting documents or credentials that could potentially give them a step up in the hiring process,” said Shannon Jacoby, a recruiter at the Bellingham, WA, Express office. “They know what they are applying for, they have done research on the company, and they know how they could fit into the organization.”


A candidate should also be friendly and personable. This is your chance to make a good impression.

“I like candidates that have friendly, personable attitudes,” said Carlos Delafuente from the Portland, OR, Express office. “I should be able to tell that they are reliable, punctual, and dependable. They can impress me by showing that they can hold a normal conversation, that they have a sense of humor, and optimism.”


“Ideally, a great job candidate should have a relatively stable work history,” said Desiree Stevens of the Littleton, CO, Express office. “However, we understand that there may be mitigating circumstances as to why a position ended. Be honest about those reasons.”

If you’re looking to contact a staffing company, be truthful with what you know and what you want.

“Being honest about your skills is huge,” Stevens said. “That helps us market the candidate to clients. If the candidate lies about the level of proficiency in a particular program and they’re placed in a position that requires it, it not only makes us look bad, but the candidate as well.”

What Makes a Poor Job Candidate?

Not Being Prepared

There is no way to hide a lack of preparation. And if you aren’t prepared for the interview, then why would a recruiter think you would be prepared on the job?

“An unprepared candidate is more difficult to place,” said Lee Cox from the Woodbury, MN, office. “If a job candidate has no idea what they want to do, or has done little or no research about the field or position, I have no reason to expect them to perform well on the job. A candidate should know the company inside and out—their job duties, distance they are willing to travel, their minimum required wage, etc.”


An interview is a chance to impress. Regardless of how casual the interview is, what you may see as overdressing could show how serious you are as a candidate.

“Just the other day, I had an administrative candidate come to her interview in see-through leggings, a baggy sweatshirt and gym shoes,” Stevens said. “I expect, at the very least, dress slacks, a blouse or blazer, and dress shoes. Shirt and tie aren’t necessary, but are a good indicator that the candidate cares about first impressions.”

Never talk over your interviewer or insult a previous employer.

“Talking over me while I’m asking a question is an indicator that the candidate has passive listening skills or thinks they already know what I have to say and has no reason to listen to what I am saying or asking,” Stevens said. “And as for bashing employers, there’s a way to tactfully state why you left a positon. Instead of saying ‘My boss was a jerk,’ note that management didn’t see eye-to-eye with you on your vision for the position or the company.”


Showing the interviewer why you’re right for the position is important. A great job applicant understands how to do this quickly and succinctly.

“Don’t take 20 minutes to answer the first interview question,” Jacoby said. “Focus on how your experience applies to the job, not on covering everything you’ve ever done. Answer each question quickly and succinctly.”

“Try not to bring personal issues into the interview,” Delafuente said. “Instead of talking about your personal life, focus on the professional.”

Know What You Want

Getting a job isn’t easy. Applicants know that. But the key to a successful interview is knowing as much as you can. Know the company’s history and culture. Know what you want, both in terms of your career and your monetary requirements. Know yourself and your personality, and how that plays in an interview.

Questions for our recruiters? Ask them in the comments below!

4 Tips on Working with a Staffing Company

How to shine with your recruiter

it's great being a millennialMany job seekers see the recruiting process as a bit of a mystery. How are you supposed to talk to your recruiter? Is the relationship that of an interviewer and interviewee? Professional with a healthy dose of awkwardness? Or is the recruiter more like a work pal? Someone there to sympathize and listen while helping you on your career path. The answer is somewhere in between. Here are four tips to make the most of working with your recruiter.

1. Be patient.

It’s understandable that you might be frustrated at the time you contact a recruiter. The job search is hard, and you’re reaching out for help. That’s not easy to do. But remember, the recruiter is there to help you. That’s what they do—place qualified applicants with suitable businesses. However, if you complain or yell at your recruiter, it will be hard for them to recommend you to a business.

Think about this — when you’re job searching on your own, how many companies do you actually hear back from? Certainly not 100% of them, right? Recruiters go through the same process.

They have connections, but it takes time to make a match. If you do have any concerns about the process, feel free to contact your recruiter and politely make those concerns known. You’re both on the same side, after all.

2. They’re not life coaches, but they do want to help.

Again, recruiters exist to help connect you with a job. They are on your side, and truly wish to see you succeed. However, they’re not life coaches. The relationship is a professional one. They can give life advice, but only as it relates to your career. The relationship between the two of you is a partnership—something mutually beneficial.

3. Keep searching on your own.

Although the recruiter is working to help you, they are constantly placing other applicants as well. They work on finding you a job, but depending on the industry, it might not be right away. Think of the recruiter as your ally and partner—with you both working at 100%, you can create something truly great. And if the job search gets monotonous? Find a way to boost your productivity.

4. Always be professional.

If your questions are about the recruiting process or how you can better yourself for consideration, it will reflect well upon you as a candidate. And again, recruiters want to help and see you succeed. Constantly being professional (from your interview attire to your attitude) makes it that much easier for them to place you.

Looking for Work?

We’re here to help. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, OK, Express Employment Professionals is a leading staffing provider in the U.S. and Canada. We employed a record 510,000 people in 2016, and never charge a fee to applicants for Express services and support. If you have any questions about the job search, contact your local Express office or create an Express account to apply for jobs online.


Have any more questions about the recruiting process? Let us know in the comments below!




How Recruiters Read Your Resume [Infographic]

When it comes to standing out from the job competition, your resume can make or break your chances of getting noticed. Since recruiters and hiring managers simply don’t have enough time to look at every resume they receive for job openings, it’s important to make sure yours is written in a way that catches their attention and is easy to read.

Check out this infographic from StandOutCV to learn more about what recruiters look for in your resume.


Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Keep Your Cool: Job Interview Prep Guide

keep_your_cool_webYou’ve scored the big job interview you’ve been waiting for, and now all you have to do is ace all those questions, make a good impression, wow the hiring managers, and keep your cool. No pressure.

Okay, let’s be real. While getting a job interview is good news, it can also be a stressful time. You’re worried you’ll mess it up. The questions might throw you for a loop. You might end up looking like you aren’t a good fit for the job.

Everyone has those fears from time to time, but with a few tips and tricks, you can alleviate those doubts and lessen the stress of going to a job interview.

When Preparation and Opportunity Meet
Great preparation prevents poor performance. Lessen your stress by analyzing the job posting and description. Be clear in your own mind about what the company wants in a potential employee. Make a list of which skills and qualities you have that match the job description.

Why is this important? Preparing beforehand ensures that you’ll be able to discuss your skills confidently, and it also reminds you that you’re a pretty impressive candidate.

Assimilate Your Assets
While you’re at it, create a list of 10 assets and qualities you have that could benefit the company. Include certifications, computer skills, professional accomplishments, and unique abilities. Making this list again reminds you why you’re pretty awesome, but it also helps you prepare to discuss those skills during an interview.

You’ll be ready to answer specific job questions with confidence and flair.

Like a spy, gather as much information as you can about the company before the interview. Look to your professional network to see if someone knows a little more about the business and can give you a competitive edge over the other candidates.

Being able to confidently discuss the company shows you are prepared, thorough, and engaged.

Practice Makes Perfect
Take some time to practice common interview questions. When you practice interviewing with a friend or family member, the actual interview becomes a little easier. Think about each question and how you will respond before you even get to the interview.

Practicing a job interview helps calm your nerves and prepares you for tough questions so you aren’t left scrambling and fumbling for a response during the real interview.

Dress It Up
The night before your big interview, pick out what you’ll wear. Put on the outfit and then lay out the clothes so they are readily available. By doing this, you won’t be rushing around trying to find the right clothes and stressing out about how you look. You want to be well groomed and professional in order to project a positive image to the employer, so make sure your clothes are clean and ironed before the big day. Now that you’re looking ready for the interview, your stress level should be decreasing.

Early Bird Gets the Worm
Whatever you do, don’t be late! Be sure to leave early enough for your interview to account for unexpected delays like traffic or construction. Hurrying and worrying about being late can cause your stress level to skyrocket, so be sure to look up the directions to the office and give yourself an extra 30 minutes to get there.

Now, you can relax and practice your interview answers on the way!

Do Your Best
Right before you walk into your interview, take a few deep calming breaths. Smile, pull your shoulders back, and give a confident handshake. You’ve researched, you’ve practiced, you look great, and you arrived on time – you have this in the bag! Be honest, open, engaging, and bright.

By preparing ahead of time and taking these steps, you’ll reduce the stress associated with interviewing. Now, all you need to do is show the interviewer why you’re the best person for the job.

Do you have any tips and tricks for not stressing out before a job interview? Share your best tips in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

“Ask a Recruiter” Advice Column Coming Soon

ask_a_recruiterHere on the Movin’ On Up blog, we strive to provide readers with useful, timely, and informative content that can help improve job searches, interviews, resumes, and more. While it’s our goal to help job seekers better prepare for their job search, we know that we can’t always answer all of your questions. That’s why we’re introducing our new column, “Ask a Recruiter.”

Like advice columns you may find in newspapers and magazines, “Ask a Recruiter” will feature questions asked by Movin’ On Up readers. Those questions will be answered by a panel of industry experts, from recruiters to staffing consultants, and posted right here on the blog.

The first “Ask a Recruiter” column will be featured soon, but first we need questions from you! Do you have any questions about the job search, hiring, or recruiting process? Is there something about resumes, interviews, or networking that confuses you? Now’s your chance to have your question answered by industry professionals who find, interview, and hire people every day.

Ask your question in the comments section below and check back soon to read what our experts have to say!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Getting Past the Recruiter

getting_past_the_recruiter_webMaking 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.