Andrew Hendrickson is Managing Partner and Principal Consultant of the OPHR Group:
1 What do you know about the job search process as a recruiter that you wish more jobseekers knew?
Job seekers think applying to a job online is like a black hole and if they do interview they want more insight into what’s really happening behind the scenes then they will realistically ever get. There are a lot of moving pieces internally at a company affecting not only how quickly the process moves but changes to the job itself. As frustrating as it may be and as little insight you will have into how that process works and what might be affecting it currently, one needs to be patient. Trust that if you have the skills and experience the company feels necessary to be successful, you will get an interview and if you are considered a top candidate you will be communicated with along the way.
2 What is an example of something a strong candidate did very well or that impressed you?
Sending a follow-up action plan once you understand a hiring manager’s expectations. This works especially well for people in sales and marketing or any job that requires results. If you are considered a top prospect sending a high-level yet well thought out 90 day action plan can put you above your competition.
3 What is a pet peeve or deal breaker that candidates may unwittingly or carelessly do?
There are too many, it’s like a minefield. The interview process is a very inexact science and hiring managers can let almost anything cloud their judgment. In general I would advise: If you’re a type A you need to learn how to temper yourself and not come off overbearing. If you’re an introvert you need to practice being conversational and outgoing with strangers and make it look natural.
4 Many jobseekers spend a lot of time fretting about the resume. Is this a good idea?
Yes and no. Make sure it’s easy to read with no mistakes, 1-2 pages and accomplishment oriented.
What is another area (interviewing, networking, follow-up, online profile, company research, etc) that you recommend jobseekers spend significant time on?
Interview preparation is by far most important. You need to spend a lot of time upfront deciding how you are going to tie your experience to the job. You need to be prepared to give very detailed answers to questions without being long winded. In the end, you need to give the hiring manager confidence that you will be successful in the role and a strong member of their team.
5 What is one favorite piece of advice you’d like to share with jobseekers to make them more effective in their searches (and better candidates for yours)?
Be proactive, research the career sections of companies you would like to work and apply directly. Network using tools like Linkedin. Only apply to jobs you truly have the experience required to be a strong candidate. If you are very qualified you should feel comfortable making 1-2 cold or follow-up calls no matter what stage you are in the process, but keep in mind too many will result in your being disqualified.
Next week’s Recruiter Interview features Matt Smith, Communications and Business Development with ROCS, a recruiting firm which specializes in Administrative, Communications and Internship opportunities for college students and recent graduates.