When I'm reading posts from job seekers on LinkedIn, I'm reminded of just how frustrating the job search can be.
One of the most common posts I see reveals that candidates send out dozens -- sometimes hundreds -- of resumes with no response. There are three reasons this "no response" issue usually happens:
Whatever issues may exist when a candidate is applying for a job through a recruiter will be compounded because it's a recruiter's job to look at job seekers with a critical eye. Of course it's uncomfortable and even feels compromising, but headhunters can't risk sending an unpolished candidate to a client. The employers, after all, are paying a premium to have "turn key" candidates delivered to their front door.
To reduce one's chances of getting rejected for that ideal job, here are some areas that job seekers should be aware of:
FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS
Recruiters deliberately put little tests in the instructions because they want to see if the candidates can follow instructions. If a job seeker is just blasting resumes and hitting the send button without even reading the job description, then I'm sure you will agree that they should be passed over. If, for example, it says to put a certain phrase into the subject line of the email, then you should do exactly that. If you don't, it's a 100% guarantee that you won't get called.
Recruiters get hundreds of emails a day. They would like to respond to every candidate, but there simply isn't enough time in the day. If you are one of the candidates that happens to match the job description and you followed the application instructions properly, when you get an email from the recruiter, it's a good idea to reply quickly. If there are some additional supporting documents, for example, that the headhunter needs, send them over as expeditiously as possible. This will help you in two ways:
Firstly, it shows the employment agency that you're "on the ball" and take their time (and the job) seriously. Which, in turn, raises the confidence of the recruiter. If the agency has faith in you and believes the job seeker will represent the recruiter well on a job interview, then that obviously helps you.
Secondly, timing is sometimes everything with submissions. The employer that has hired the agency is almost always in a hurry or they wouldn't have gone to the agency in the first place. If you get your paperwork in quickly -- like recommendation letters, for example -- then you have an advantage over your competition. There will undoubtedly be other candidates who have more experience and more education than you, so getting in first to win the race just may help you score the job you want.
DON'T STALK THE RECRUITER
As previously mentioned, recruiters are incredibly busy. They are getting hundreds of resumes a day, and it's really hard to keep up. Honestly, you don't need to follow up -- and keep following up -- to ask the recruiter if they got your submission. Trust me, if you are qualified for the job and followed the submission instructions, then the headhunter will happily call you because you may be the person they need to score a commission. There is no need to chase the recruiter because, if anything, it may hurt you if they think you're acting too aggressively.
CLEAN UP YOUR DIGITAL DIRT
Finally, make sure when you are looking for a job that all of your social media accounts are set to private. Ask any recruiter and they will inevitably tell you countless stories of how candidates lost good jobs because raunchy social media posts. You can be as "free with your speech" as you would like -- in the privacy of your own home -- but if you are going to confront controversial topics on social media for the whole world to see, then just beware that recruiters and potential employers are going to run as fast as they can in the opposite direction. In short, it's a steep price to pay.
Written for assistants and estate managers working for celebrities, CEOs, UHNW families, billionaires and royalty