10 Things Every Job Seeker Should Know About the Recruiting Process

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Hire MeThis Week’s Question:  Job seekers and recruiters: they work together constantly, but do they truly understand each other? Let’s give job seekers better insight into the recruiting process. Share one thing you wish every job seeker knew about the world of recruiting!

“[I wish every job seeker knew] the art of follow-up.

“Don’t disappear: stay in front of recruiters with professional follow-up at appropriate intervals.

“Don’t be annoying: avoid going overboard by sticking to a follow-up plan.

“Don’t take silence personally: recruiters have a lot on their plates. They’re not intentionally giving you the silent treatment. Stay positive and be professionally persistent.”

– Ryan Naylor
Founder and President

“We understand you are applying for a plethora of companies, but we really want applicants who know how they would want to contribute to our specific business!”

– Andrew Royce Bauer
Royce Leather

“Recruiters get paid to place applicants! Being disrespectful to recruiting staff can block you from other opportunities. Clients hire us to deal with these unpleasant applicants. Make it easy for us to refer you to open positions!”

– Michael Hayes
Momentum Specialized Staffing

“While worker capability, skills, and knowledge are all important, work expertise is often not the primary basis upon which your viability as a candidate is assessed. Many aspects of the recruiting process are geared toward uncovering interpersonal capacities and generalized worker esteem. A job seeker needs to understand that the recruitment process is a process of organizational scrutiny, and more candidates lose jobs based on things they do wrong as contrasted with candidates who do mostly everything right.”

– Matthew Reischer, Esq.

“One thing I wish every job seeker knew was that you should never, never, lie on your resume. If you’re applying for any kind of decent job, you’re probably going to get caught. Having consulted on far too many hires to take anything at face value, I always insist on checking the final candidates’ resumes myself — so does anyone else who knows what they’re doing.

“Where do people exaggerate and even lie? Where don’t they? Education, compensation, duties and responsibilities, achievements, awards, length of employment, etc. Some people fudge dates to make themselves look younger. When I told one applicant that no one at his former company had heard of the Executive Merit Award he’d cited, he simply replied that was probably because after he’d won it three years in a row the company retired the reward in his honor.”

– Barry Maher
Speaker, Author, and Consultant

“Don’t apply for jobs for which you are not even closely qualified. It wastes the recruiter’s time and yours, and it frustrates you when you don’t hear back.”

– Fred Coon
Stewart, Cooper & Coon

“The one key thing you should focus on is the confidence you display during an interview. Internal recruiters — intentionally or not — give preference to job seekers who show greater confidence in stressful situations. Recruiters are also more likely to overlook gaps or lack of professional experience in your resume if the interview goes really well and you maintain a calm, but assertive demeanor.

“How do you carry this off when you are faced with a situation designed to make you nervous? There is a surprisingly easy solution: Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard, has shown in her research that just two minutes of standing or sitting in a ‘high-power pose’ increases testosterone by 20 percent and lowers cortisol by 25 percent. What this essentially means is that in two short minutes your stress level is dramatically reduced as your confidence level is boosted significantly. When Amy Cuddy delivered her Ted Talk about high-power poses, the video went viral and has changed the way job seekers approach the interview process forever.”

– Zan Hogan
Personal Development Coach

“One thing that I think is important for job seekers to remember is that HR wants to hire someone just as much as you want to be hired. I think a lot of job seekers fall into a mental trap where they lack confidence and lose motivation because they don’t appreciate the value they bring to the recruiter-job-seeker relationship.

-Erik Bowitz
Resume Expert
Copy My Resume

“Clean up your social media. Yep, that’s right: before you send out your resume to anyone, make sure your social media is presentable. What to delete?

  • foul language;
  • pictures of yourself partying/drinking;
  • references to gambling;
  • skanky shots/immodestly dressed selfies.
  • Basically, anything that would make another person wonder about your ability to be reliable and/or professional.

Often, the first thing I would do after sorting through all the bad resumes is take the good ones and do a quick Google search of each person. Immediately, their social media pages would pop up. I’d spend a few minutes clicking through the photos.

It was surprising to me that people who were desperately looking for a job had 20 or sometimes even 100+ photos on their social media pages of themselves partying — hard — and/or lots of crude messages/updates. I recommend not putting that stuff up on the Internet at all, but if you have already, then delete it. Simply making thing private doesn’t always truly hide them.”

-Anita Fowler
Entrepreneur and Blogger
Live Like You Are Rich

They need to understand that recruiting is actually ‘business matchmaking.’ For us [recruiters] to be successful, then the fit needs to be right for the candidate as well as for the employer. It really helps us when candidates see it this way and ask the right questions about the position and the company’s culture to ensure that it all makes good sense on their end.”

-Lisa Ritchie
Head of Recruiting
Affinity HR Group

Ask Away is Recruiter.com’s weekly column. Every week, we pose an employment-related question to a group of experts and share their answers. Have a question you’d like to ask the experts? Leave it in the comments, and you might just see it in next week’s Ask Away!

Read more in Recruiting Tips

Matthew Kosinski is the former managing editor of Recruiter.com.