Help your recruiter help you

11 February 2020

By Lisa Veale

Help your recruiter help you

​Ever wondered what makes an ideal candidate in the eyes of a recruiter? What is it that catches their eye when they’re scouring CV after CV? How do you grab their attention when you’re having a chat?

In other words, what can you do to help your recruiter help you?#

Know what you want or don't want

Right up there for the team at Sarah West Recruitment are two things: Knowing what you want – or sometimes it’s what you don’t want – from your job search. And being honest!

Recruitment Consultant Lisa says “When I‘m looking for a candidate, chances are my starting point is a CV. With the vast number I look at every day, I quickly want to be able to see someone’s skills and experience. Often more importantly is the reason they’re looking for a new role. That gives me a feel for how and what I need to do to help them. It could be a new role with development opportunities or something similar to what they’re doing now. Just with a different organisation.”

Lisa’s tips to help your recruiter on paper

  • Job boards. Give as much information as you can in their summary information. Salary expectations, if you’re willing to travel or your availability for example

  • CVs. If there are things that you absolutely want or don’t want, put it in black and white. I’m not here to judge

  • Make your contact details easy to find. It’s refreshing to see creativity in a lot of CVs but don’t forget to include a phone number or email address so I can get in touch. Believe me, it’s been known!

  • If you seem a good fit for a job we have or a client we’re working with, the next step will be a meeting. So one of the team can understand what really makes you tick. It’s a chance to get to know the real you and for you to set out exactly what you’re looking for.

Lisa says “A meeting’s not about me grilling you – it’s an informal chat and a chance for me to understand what’s really going to work for you. So many people think that being a ‘gold star’ candidate means telling me what they think I want to hear, so I’ll put them forward for a role they’ve seen advertised. You couldn’t be more wrong – saying you’d be happy to do everything and anything makes it a lot more difficult.

“I’d much rather know up front if you want for example part time, absolutely love talking on the phone or couldn’t stand a long commute because at the end of the day I’m not here to shoehorn people into something that’s not right for them. I’ll only put people forward for a role after we’ve chatted it through and be sure that it’s what they’re looking. Of course, a big part is that candidates are a good fit culturally – this is a two way street and we spend most of our time with the people that we work with, so it has to be right.”

Lisa’s tips when for meeting with your recruiter and beyond

  • Know what you need – think about any ‘must haves’ or ‘deal breakers’ before your meeting and talk through them

  • Be yourself – relax and let your personality shine. Skills and experience are important but matching candidates to an organisation that will suit them is equally as important

  • Carry on communicating – your circumstances may change or you might want to update the skills and experiences your recruiter has on record

  • Give feedback – if you have an interview, let them know your thoughts afterwards. If it’s the job of your dreams and you get it – amazing! If not, any feedback will help shape future searches

“At the end of the day I want to get the best outcome for our candidates and clients and quickest way of achieving this is by being honest all the way through the process. And that goes for us too – if a candidate’s being unrealistic – I’ll tell them. It’s by far the quickest way of getting the result that everyone wants!”

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