Having been a recruiter for almost 2 years now, I have developed a laundry list of pet peeves while working with candidates. Some of the most important things I think candidates should keep in mind while working with a recruiter and/or pursuing new employment are:
- Resume formatting – No templates! Nothing irritates me more than fighting a resume for an hour because I can’t get it out of the original template/formatting. Along with templates would be the lines that are inserted in resumes. They’re not necessary and just make things more difficult. Also, don’t refer to yourself in first or 3rd person. We all know who you are so don’t say, “Mr. Smith performed blah blah blah” or “I was promoted to XYZ position.” Utilize bullet points where you can simply state your tasks and responsibilities. Check out this website to get some before and after shots. But remember, no crazy lines or templates!
- Be accessible – This may sound like the simplest task but for some it seems to be quite difficult. You are the one looking for a new job so you need to be checking your email often and be able to take phone calls periodically throughout the day. Obviously, you need to be respectful of your current employer but if you’re not responding to recruiters, you’re not on their radar as a viable candidate. In addition to communication, you have to be available for interviews. No one is going to interview you at 7:00 pm so make time during business hours.
- Compensation – We all know none of us are working for free. We’re here to make money. But, if you’re making $20/hr, it’s not reasonable for you to ask for an increase of $15/hr just for making a move. Be sensible about your negotiations. If you make too high of demands you can price yourself out of consideration. Salary.com should give you a good idea of what is reasonable in your area.
- Passive lookers – I love making calls on resumes and getting the dreaded response of, “Well, I’m always interested in new opportunities” or “I always keep my resume out on Monster.” If you’re not seriously looking, please don’t waste my time or the customers being submitted just to back out.
While these are only a few of the things that drive me bananas when working with candidates, try to keep them in mind. For other ideas, check out Work Strategies or check out Lindsay Olsen’s blog for a few additional tips.
Author of Spicy Richmond