It seems simple enough. Recruiters know about job openings; you need a job, so it only stands to reason that you blast off your resume to every recruiter you can find. Right? Well, not so fast.
Whether you are sending your resume to a recruiter or a specific employer, it is important to target your application and your resume to the needs of the intended reader.
If you send your portfolio to an entire list of recruiters you might be doing yourself a disservice. In an effort to deliver a quantity of resumes, you may be missing the crucial quality aspect of an online resume submission.
Instead, research a number of recruiters and select two or three recruiting firms who specialize in hiring for your targeted position or within your specific industry. For example, there are firms who specialize in pharmaceutical, information technology, or accounting industries when placing professionals. There are also firms who specialize in placing executive clients, government contracts, or administrative assistants. Before you submit your online application to a recruiter or recruiting firm be sure to conduct your due diligence and find a firm that specializes in placing people like you! This will not only cut out a lot of agony on your part, but it will increase the likelihood of being selected. (Which of course, increases your confidence, and your chances of being hired!)
When you are sending information to a recruiter, put yourselves in their shoes. They are likely receiving hundreds of resumes each day.
What is it about your email that is going to make a recruiter:
1) open your message?
2) read your document?
3) contact you for an interview?
Provided you have an answer to all three questions, you are ready to proceed. If not, you may want to brush up on your value proposition. I can help.
Be careful not to overwhelm them with information, at the same time, you don’t want to underwhelm them either, so make sure whatever you send demonstrates the value of them calling you in for an interview.
Before you send your resume to any recruiting agency or firm be sure to:
- Research the recruiting firms to identify which firms specialize in your sector and/or hire professionals in your position/at your level.
- Personalize your email so it is customized to the needs of the agency and the person reading your email (likely, but not always the recruiter you’ll be working with).
- Demonstrate in your email that you have done your homework and that you understand the business of the recruiting firm.
There is no exact formula, or combination with regards to the documents you send, when you send them, and no guarantee about whether or not you will get a response. Here are a few documents I recommend clients use to start, engage, or re-start conversations with executive recruiters (not all at the same time, by the way; staggered throughout the hiring process):
Resume | Professional Profile | Key Accomplishments List | PowerPoint Presentation | Linkedin Profile
Whether or not you decide to work with a recruiter is really up to you. If you do choose to work with a recruiter, keep in mind what motivates the recruiter. With this in mind, you’re sure to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Related Categories: Job Search, Resumes & ATS
About The Author
Maureen McCann is an award-winning career coach, master resume writer, and master certified interview, employment, and career strategist whose clients include C-level executives, managers, and professionals in all industries including the Canadian banking, oil and gas, healthcare, IT, and government sectors.