You've sent your résumé in application for a job, but you have had no response. You've called a recruiter to draw attention to your availability but you have been ignored. You're firing applications into a black hole and it's getting depressing. What can you do about it? Two recruiters and one career coach offer the following tips.
"If someone calls me and says they're employed in what looks like a good position, I'm always going to call them back," said David Schwartz, CEO at New York financial services search firm DN Schwartz & Co. "I'm going to be curious as to why they want to leave," he added. "If someone leaves a voice message saying, 'It's John Doe from the derivatives desk at Morgan Stanley', I'll call because I'll want to know what's going on at Morgan Stanley," Schwartz said.
Recruiters are suckers for information. They like to know what's going on inside organisations and they like to know who's who (so that they can try and headhunt people out of the organisation in future). If it looks like you can share some tasty facts with them, then they'll call you up. You don't necessarily need to be employed, but you do need to appear to know something. Even if you happen to mention that you've been interviewing, recruiters will call you simply to find out who's hiring.
You are even more likely to get a callback if you say you have an offer and are exploring what else is on the market whilst weighing whether to accept it, said Logan Naidu, Chief Executive of recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners. Naidu added that he always returns candidates' calls: "If you're aiming to have a career in recruitment it makes sense to call people back because you never know where they might end up in the future. People will remember you if you're pleasant," he said.
Naidu said that it can also facilitate callbacks if you mention that you've been referred to a recruiter by a candidate they've placed in the past. "If you tell a recruiter that your friend, X, spoke very highly of them, they will be more likely to take note," he said.
The best way to ensure that recruiters don't ignore you is to send CVs that are carefully tailored to the role you're applying for, said Jeremy L'Anson, a career coach and author who works with investment bankers. "If you put the effort in and tweak your CV so that it matches the role you're applying for, a recruiter will immediately pick you out and get in touch," L'Anson said.
Finally, L'Anson said recruiters are more likely to respond to you if you contact them through the novel medium of Twitter than if you email or call them. "Twitter is becoming a really powerful recruitment tool," he said. "There are plenty of recruiters out there who are Tweeting their jobs. One way to catch a recruiter's attention is to direct message them and say 'Hey, here's my CV, it matches your role exactly.'"