First, we should look at why this is happening. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter. What are some things a recruiter is trying to accomplish?
- Generating business to achieve their sales goals
- Serving clients based on their exact needs and requirements
- Branding themselves in the market
I’d like to explain the second point a bit more in detail. When a client calls a recruiter and he receives a position to work on, he generally knows a lot about the role. He also knows the details between the lines that the client told him, but are not mentioned in the job spec.
To make sure the client is happy, the recruiter has to deliver only the best candidates and never the average. Because a few information are not mentioned in the job spec, you might not know everything you need, to be able to decide of you are the best candidate.
I will go through a few points you should keep an eye on, to maximise your chances for a positive feedback.
Make sure you have the requested skills
The requested skills in the job spec are the minimum you must have to be in the top 10 of all applicants. Depending on the quality of the job advert, this can be very easy or hard to grasp. If it is unclear, call the responsible person from that company to clarify. If you want to be helpful and brand yourself a little, tell them what you thought is not clear so they can change it.
Call before you send the application
Nobody ever calls. If you think you are one of the best candidates for this role, call the person on the job advert. You will be ways ahead of your competitors and receive more information about the job.
Ask the person on the phone if there is anything that the client needs, that is not in the job spec. You will be surprised how much information you can gather. Maybe the client mentioned that they would really like to have a woman in the team. What if the client told the recruiter that experience in the food industry would be of great benefit and you worked in that industry before? You can sell yourself directly on the phone.
If time allows, quickly explain why you think you are the best candidate for this job. Don’t give a 15 minute speech, do it in a few sentences.
Also call if you don’t have that skill in the 15th line at the bottom of the job spec. It’s called “nice to have” for a reason. Maybe you are not the perfect fit for the role but what if you are the fastest to apply and get forwarded because you are the best candidate by now? If you don’t pick up the phone and talk to HR or the recruiter, you will never know.
What if there is no contact on the job advert? Have a look at the article about how to follow up to find out how to search for the decision makers.
Send the application exactly as requested
If it says in the job advert “Please send your full CV including a photo of you by email to XY”, don’t send the CV without a picture by postal mail. Just do exactly what is says in the text, it says it for a reason. If nothing is specified, send all the information you have if it is for a full time position. If you are applying for a contract role, the CV is enough for the moment.
Call again to follow up once you sent the CV
If you don’t hear back for 2-3 days, give the responsible person a call to see if they need more information from you to proceed. A candidate that calls me for a position he fits in terms of the job spec and the information between the line will get forwarded to the client much faster. If you apply for a position through an agency, remember that they must only send CVs of candidates that fit every aspect of the role.
I hope that you will get a bit of a clearer picture about the situation of HR and Recruiters. This article is not to excuse lazy recruiters that do not get back to you but to show you their side of the business.
What other problems are you facing in the application process?