Starting a Job Search? You Need to Know these 3 Things About Recruiters.

By Greg Whitesell, Marketing Director

Having a solid relationship with a good recruiting professional can give a job seeker a trusted partner and ally during their job search and ultimately throughout their career. Recruiters spend most of their day finding, recruiting and evaluating candidates for job opportunities. As a result of screening many resumes and meeting many professionals, recruiters really have “seen it all” and know how to make you stand out. Given the potentially important role they can play in helping you land your dream job, here are 3 things you need to know about recruiters.

Accurate communications are key.

In almost all cases, the relationship between candidate and recruiter (or hiring manager) starts with a resume. If the resume is well done and clearly demonstrates that the candidate meets the qualifications for the job it can lead to a phone interview. Additional interview rounds may follow and perhaps an offer is made. Throughout these interactions, there are email responses, meeting acceptances, “thank you” letters and more being exchanged. As a candidate, each of these touchpoints need to be just as error-free as your resume. Failure to “dot the i’s” and “cross the t’s” in even the most informal communications can hurt your chances of moving on in the process. Given the ease of grammar and spell checking in today’s word processing software, mistakes just look careless, and carelessness doesn’t read well to a recruiter or hiring manager.

They are red flag ninjas.

Experienced talent acquisition professionals have honed their craft to a point of being able to pick out even the smallest of red flags in their candidates. We asked our recruiters to tell us the most common red flags they encounter. The top 5 on our list included:

Arriving Late

Yes, traffic can be unpredictable and wrong turns can happen. Regardless, being late to an interview conveys either a lack of interest, irresponsibility or poor time management skills. None of those are good for a candidate.

Lack of preparation

If you’re thinking about “winging it”, don’t. Showing up for an interview without knowledge about the company, role and person you’re meeting with is a firm no. From company websites to Linked In pages the ease of information access makes those who don’t do it look lazy.

Dishonesty

In an effort to stand out, it might be tempting to omit things like felonies or job dismissals or add accomplishments or “embellish”. The reality is that hiring professionals stake their reputations on the performance of their candidates. It’s unlikely a good recruiter won’t find out about issues like those mentioned above through reference and background checking. It might sound cliched, but honesty truly is the best policy, especially as it relates to hiring.

Negative Ned or Nancy

We’ve all met people who see the worst in everything. Few of us want to work with them. Even fewer want to hire them. When looking for a new opportunity, don’t highlight the bad or complain about your previous roles, bosses or coworkers. It’s difficult to justify moving this type of person forward in the process because a recruiter can’t help but wonder if the root cause of all the negativity lies within the complainer.

“Me”centric

As an interviewee, a “what can you do for me” tone instead of “how can we do great things together” one automatically turns off a recruiter. Interviews, at least in initial rounds, should focus on your qualifications and achievements (with metrics, if possible). Looking too far forward or bringing up things like salary and vacation too soon can be an instant disqualifier. Be a good listener and be engaged. You’ll get the answers you need as the process unfolds.

They are “Social” Savvy

Here are some interesting stats from a recent Careerbuilder study:

  • 70% of employers use social media profiles to screen potential candidates
  • 69% conduct a Google search on potential hires
  • 54% have found things on a candidate’s social media page that caused them to pause on hiring a candidate
  • 44% have HIRED a candidate because of specific content posted to their profile

So, what exactly are they looking for? First off, they’re checking to see if you have a profile at all. Having zero presence can make it look like you’re either hiding something or aren’t tech savvy. At the very least, we recommend honing your efforts on a Linked In profile, since the platform skews more business and doesn’t have as many pitfalls as others.

What could be on social media that might be detrimental? From photos that are provocative or racy to discriminatory, racist or inflammatory comments; posts outlining drug and alcohol use; posts that verify that someone lied about a work absence – this list could go on and on. We can’t state this any clearer – if you’re planning to start a job search, begin by cleaning up your social media and take advantage of that last statistic by posting some content that is relevant to the role your looking to land.


The Sherpa team has recruiters with years of experience helping candidates in their job search. With specializations that include Accounting and Finance, Human Resources, Marketing, Project Management and Executive Support we work to connect talent to opportunity. To learn more about working with us as a candidate visit us online.

Connect with Greg at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregwhitesell

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