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Make a Lasting Impression with a Recruiter by Doing This

Being an executive recruiter is sometimes a thankless job. Most recruiters are incredibly hardworking people who are doing the best they can to create a good candidate experience while meeting the needs of the company who hired them.

It is hard, though. There are WAY more candidates than available jobs most of the time. That leaves the recruiter playing catch up with phone calls, feedback, etc. Sometimes recruiters get a bad rap. They hear a lot about candidate frustration, etc.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you, as a job seeker, could figure out a way to really stand out in a recruiter’s mind? The trick is to do something that other job seekers don’t think to do. Mostly that involves thinking about the needs of the recruiter, in addition to your own needs. Here are some ideas:

  1. Let them off the hook for calling you back

When you are calling to ask a recruiter for feedback, and you get voicemail, remind them of who you are and let them off the hook for calling you back. All candidates want a return call. However, lots of times, there is no new news. Acknowledge that. Here is what that could sound like –

“Hi Joe, this is Jane Doe. We spoke last week about the senior-level marketing role you are handling for Coca-Cola. You mentioned that you might have some news about next steps this week. If there have been any new developments, I would love to hear about them. If there is no change, I understand. There is no need to call me back. I just wanted to stay top of mind. I look forward to reconnecting soon.”

Strangely enough, they may call you back because you didn’t ask them to and you were kind enough to empathize about the fact that they often do not have anything to share.

2. Offer to help them

Most job seekers don’t think of offering anything to their recruiter contacts. Recruiters really appreciate it if you make the experience mutual. For example, if you are building a relationship with a recruiter in your industry, you could say something like this -

“I have been in the hospitality industry for 20 years and I know a lot of people. If you see someone in my network that you would like to meet, please let me know. In most circumstances, I am glad to make an introduction for you.”

3. Recommend them.

If you have had a good experience with a recruiter, whether or not you got the job offer, write them a LinkedIn recommendation. Very few job seekers think to do this. If it is a genuine, heartfelt recommendation, it will completely endear the recruiter to you. Guess who is going to come to mind the next time there is an available position?

Stand apart from the job seeker crowd by thinking of the needs of the recruiters in your life. Taking a few extra minutes to build strong, mutual relationships with good recruiters can pay dividends for a long time in your career. Chime in below if you can think of other ways to stand out to a recruiter.

Dana Maggi, Career Coach


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