Missing the Recruiter’s Call, Part 2

One of my most popular blog posts, Missing the Recruiter’s Call was written over a year ago, but people are still reading it. So I am taking my cue from my readers and expanding on that post. While all of that blog post information, how to work with recruiters and staffing agencies and multiple resume submittals, still holds true,  there is always more information to consider.

While you the job seeker may be nervously waiting for the phone to ring, staffing agency recruiters right now have more jobs on their plates than they can possibly fill. This means that if you miss a recruiter’s call, that may be enough to drop your resume from consideration unless you act fast. An organized, prepared candidate is more likely to keep him- or herself in the game.

*If you miss a recruiter call, call back immediately and make sure you have the job description and your resume, cover letter and all supporting documents in front of you. Do the tasks below beforehand so you are prepared to talk to the recruiter.

*Label and keep an electronic or paper copy of all jobs for which you have applied. Put the recruiter’s name and contact info, if it is given in the job description, on your copies.

*Label each document you send such as a resume, cover letter or unofficial transcript so that the file name has your last name in it.

*Make sure your name and the job title and job number are on all documents you submit.

*Don’t throw up your hands in despair and give up if the submittal email for a position does not work. Everyone makes mistakes in typing, especially busy sourcers and recruiters who are pressed for time. Contact that sourcer or recruiter through their agency web site and ask for an alternate email or phone number.

*Send information promptly. If you are asked for transcripts or to respond to emailed questions, make that a priority on your list of job search tasks.

*Know the salary range for the position. Sometimes this is in the job description. Sometimes you will have to research it. Doing a Bing or Google search for salary calculators will give you several salary sites. NOTE: Salary expectations are used to weed you out from the candidate pool. State a monetary range based on your salary research or what is in the job description. Many companies will try to start you out below the minimum salaries you find in your research. Decide whether you can afford to live on a lower salary before you list your salary requirements. Negotiating up after the fact is difficult to do. Keep in mind that future raises and salaries will be based on what you are prepared to accept now, so your future earning potential could be diminished by taking a lower salary to get the job.

*Benefit delay/reduction: One way companies are reducing costs is to limit or not offer benefits at all. Some companies may list a 32 hour per week job as part-time and, therefore, not eligible for benefits. The same part-time job at another company may be eligible for reduced benefits, but no medical insurance. Benefits for a full-time position at another company may kick in after 90 days. Ask your recruiter to clarify how the company benefits work or if benefits are available through the staffing agency.

*Corporate recruiters are a separate type of recruiting category. They may not be swamped with job requisitions, so may have the time to sift through candidates to find the ones who are not only competent, but who excel in their career fields. The same information applies for working with these recruiters: be organized and prompt with your information and contacts.

*Professional behaviors: You will run into a variety of behaviors when working with recruiters. You may have a recruiter who is willing to take the time to advise you on your career. Your next recruiter may be one who is brusque or even rude and spends very little time talking to you. Keep in mind at the end of the day, your resume will or will not make a recruiter money, so he or she may justify his or her behavior accordingly. Regardless of recruiter behavior, your behavior in dealing with ALL recruiters needs to be professional. Period. Thank the recruiters who take the time to help you. Ignore rude behaviors and move on to the next position.

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Moving For A Job

Diwali Lamps

As the weather turns cooler, and fall is about to start, I am reminded that my 13th anniversary of moving to California is coming up. I did not dream of finding myself job hunting back in NY, but here I am. One of my mentors who quietly listened to my job search stories when I was first starting out said to me, “You have to go where the jobs are.” So I did, out to Cali. The job scene is now actually more robust on the East coast than the West, but in 1999 it was a different story. The dot.com craze had started and places like Stanford University were hiring. I packed up everything I owned, tacked it onto someone else’s moving load, cut the plates off my car with bolt cutters and sold that two-toned Novarolla to pretty much the lowest bidder. I boarded a plane, then landed in San Jose and wound up in an apartment complex just a few blocks from Apple.

I should have rented an ark. It rained every day for three months and I swear it was colder than back home. However, what sticks in my mind is my first Halloween there. This apartment complex was 90% Indian families. So the children dressed up, paraded around and we passed out candy. But that wasn’t the best part. What I didn’t know then was that it was also the Indian festival of Diwali, or the festival of lights. The kids trick-or-treated by the light of traditional Diwali oil lamps or colorful Christmas lights strung along the balconies. Then they changed into beautiful traditional Indian saris and passed around traditional Indian sweets. I had only been in Cali 2 days, but it was a beautiful sight and a nice gesture towards acknolwedging diversity that everyone was included in the celebration of the festival of lights.