A lot of job seekers lament that reading the feedback from HR is like staring into a black box. It is tough to know what recruiters are thinking because, as a former recruiter myself, I know that recruiters don’t like to share very detailed feedback.
But it’s helpful to know what the successful candidates do, so you can learn from them and use these tactics for yourself. Here are some strategies from current active recruiters when I asked them, "What is an example of something a strong candidate did very well or that impressed you?"
Emphasize what’s best for the long run, even it may not benefit you immediately
Jean Allen is a veteran recruiter in the financial services industry. She is currently at Exchange Place Partners:
Someone who was in the running for a job they really wanted once told me that her boss would actually be a better fit and that she thought he might be interested if I approached him. I did approach him and he was hired. (Good news: He then hired her.)
Follow up over time and let genuine relationships grow
Toni Thompson is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager for McCann Erickson NY:
A candidate I interviewed over a year ago continues to send me bi-monthly emails with interesting articles about technology and diversity, two interests I mentioned in our initial meeting, and updates me on his current job responsibilities. There are very few people who know how to build a meaningful relationship with recruiters. This guy did it well.
Be confident, but not too much
Lindsay Browning is a Recruiting Specialist based in Dublin, Ireland, who specializes in recruiting language-based clients for online sales and marketing roles:
Confidence without being arrogant but belief that they are the right person for the role and the company. You cannot beat a candidate with a positive attitude!
You don’t have to close at the interview – what you do after sometimes matters more
Henry Lescaille is a Vice President of Human Resources at Time Inc:
I interviewed a woman several months ago, who, in my opinion lacked one critical piece of experience. She listened to my feedback, thanked me for my candor and said she wanted to "reflect" on our discussion. Her follow-up included concrete examples of how she did have that experience base and how she would be an asset to the organization. She was respectful, thoughtful and strategic – and now happily employed at Time Inc.
-- Caroline Ceniza-Levine
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