I hear a lot of frustration from candidates about not getting in front of recruiters.  That they send out resume after resume and don't hear a thing.  That they would 100% prefer to deal directly with employers.   That our industry is filled with 23 year olds who don't know how to manage their own career, let alone assist theirs.  That they feel as though most of the roles advertised by recruiters are not real.  That they read an ad, feel as though they are perfect for the role, submit their resume and don't hear a thing back.

The relationship with a recruiter must be a two-way street.

It's like sales.  Can you imagine throwing a sales proposal out there over and over again and then sitting back and waiting for the phone to ring?  Having that prospect say - thank god for you, I'm going to give you all of my business immediately because your proposal met every single one of my needs?  Bom bowwww, not going to happen.

My advice is the same for every advertisement you are going to respond to:

If you are embarking on this relationship cold (ie. you haven't been referred to me or we don't have a prior relationship on another role), submit your resume before you make a call.  If you are right for the role, the recruiter will need to see this.  If you are not right for the role, the recruiter will need to see this.  The only way I can sell you to my client is through your resume - it's the only tangible we have in an intangible process.

A lot of people who ring me prior to submitting their resume preface the phone call with 'I don't want to waste your time or mine' - and that's a lovely thought - but actually it's a faster process for both of us if I have your resume in front of me.  Successful recruiters make money by meeting or speaking to people all day, every day, and human nature dictates I'm not going to necessarily recall our conversation by the time you have submitted it and I have screened it.

I understand if you are rejected from a role, you may not want to be left in that recruiter's database, but you can cover this off with a simple 'request to remove from database email' (keeping in mind that that last 4 roles I filled were with candidates who were not right for the first role they applied for).  It may be better to take the attitude that you've gotta be in it to win it, rather than the high road.

Ok, so you've sent the resume.  Now make the call.  Don't wait.  Create a reason for the recruiter to find your resume amongst the 100 others.  Over the phone, highlight the 2 key reasons you believe you are the fit for this role - your elevator pitch.  Make it engaging, not wordy, practice it out loud.  Don't hang up from the phone unless you have an outcome.  If the recruiter confirms they have your resume and that they will come back to you shortly re next steps - they are not interested.  If they see some potential, they will book your interview time with you then and there.  That's how we are wired.  If you get that recruiter on the phone there should only be 2 outcomes from your perspective - either you cross this one off your list, or you write the time of your interview in your diary.

If you are continually getting knock backs from recruiters for roles you genuinely believe you are right for, there are 2 key issues - your resume needs some work and/or you are not following up in the above manner.

Take accountability for your resume - your resume is your own personal nugget of gold and you need to follow it around the world every time you send it out, to make sure it is with the right person and that it is maximising your potential to book an interview.

Promise me - I will never send a resume again without completing the exercise with a phone call (or 2 or 3 to get hold of that pesky recruiter).

Kara Atkinson