As a recruiter, you normally receive a lot of resumes for every job opening. This is good for the most part as you get your pick of the most qualified candidates, but can also be a rather frustrating process. You are looking for something to stand out, you are looking for the candidate that jumps out as the perfect match, and you are looking for things that will sell you on the job applicant that makes for a true “slam dunk.”
As the job applicant, you may be wondering why you got turned away from a job that you were seemingly perfect for. You know that you have what it takes, and yet somehow you got the rejection notice or complete radio silence. What exactly is it that causes a recruiter to reject a job applicant? How can you learn what the most fatal mistakes are so as to avoid them? Better yet, how can you get into the mind of a recruiter to put all the odds in your favor?
Recruiters everywhere want you to know what it takes to be chosen. In order to be that candidate, you have to avoid a few problem areas. Though you may be used to hearing that you need a good cover letter or a complete resume, here is a little bit of insight beyond the obvious. These are the main reasons a recruiter will turn you away and areas that you must overcome if you want to land a job.
- You sound like a robot with no real original thought. If you’re sending out countless resumes with no real thought behind them, this shows through to a recruiter. You’re playing the numbers game in hopes of getting an interview or job offer by sending out as many resumes as you can. You might think that this is a good tactic, but you honestly come across as a robot who is just going through the motion. Don’t be just another voice. Stand out. Be unique.
- You try to be a “Jack of All Trades” which to them means “Master of None.” If there is one thing that drives a recruiter crazy, it is that belief that you can do it all. While you may think of yourself as a “quick learner,” that doesn’t mean that you can handle any task or skill with ease. Know your strengths and own them, but also know your weaknesses. Don’t pretend or portray that you are good at everything, for this will actually demonstrate that you dabble in a lot but excel at nothing. That’s never going to be a winning trait for you!
- You come across as desperate and therefore not necessarily the right fit. Being eager and enthusiastic is good, but it can be taken too far. If you want to win over a recruiter, don’t come across as over eager or they will take this as desperation. This also means that while a simple follow up can go a long way, calling or emailing the recruiter repeatedly is not advisable. You should know when to be tenacious.
- There is nothing special about you and you appear to have no real accomplishments. Though this may sound counterintuitive to you, this is a time to celebrate your own accomplishments. If you created some amazing process that allowed your employer to save money, now is the time to talk about it. There is sure to be something special about you, but if you don’t tell the recruiter about it you just blend into the rest of the crowd. This is your time to shine. Find something about your professional experience that makes you special and highlight it. This isn’t about being conceited, but rather recognizing the true value that you can bring to a company.
If you want to win over a recruiter, then avoid these common mistakes. These may not be talked about as much as the more obvious areas of the job application process, but these can be fatal flaws that cost you a shot at the job. Be yourself and be confident in what you bring to the table. This new attitude will carry you far in your job search!
by Mary Frederick