Pick Me! How to Get Hired for a Job

1. Who 

To understand how Recruiters identify the Candidates they will work with it is helpful to understand a little more about professional recruiters. You won’t find this under “How to get hired for a job” in most online searches. Recruiters come from a variety of varying backgrounds and with many levels of recruitment expertise. Recruiters also work in a variety of settings–some traditional office environments and hours and many with virtual offices and complete freedom on how and when they work. They commonly have a number of concurrent projects going and for each search they may have 3-4 candidates in process of being scheduled for interviews; screening, offers, etc.

Even for the best recruiters with the best technology it can be a lot to remember! So be patient with your recruiters, remind them of the key elements they need to know about you, remember it pays to have them on your side and genuinely like you. They will be essential in the selection process as their influence is KEY with the client. They will also be your best asset in negotiations and will help make sure the final offer leaves nothing “on the table”.

The second component of “who” deals with which candidate is actually selected by the recruiter to call and phone interview. BE SURE to watch this video for more on this.  In a given search, a large number of similarly qualified candidates can be generated. So your name will come up on the recruiter’s screen with up to 1000 other names and profile quick shots… so which ones actually make the cut and get selected?


Complete your online job board resume and profile thoroughly. Accurate, thorough information helps a recruiter to quickly assess whether a phone call or email would be worthwhile.

Include your realistic salary range- a 10,000-15,000 range is acceptable.

If at all possible, do not blind your online resume. It is extremely cumbersome to connect with candidates that do not list their cell phone, email, etc.

2. What

Most recruiters are paid only if they deliver the candidate ultimately selected by the client. The client then pays the recruiter a fee for the service they have provided- competition is steep because many clients involve more than one recruiter in their search process and may even continue to recruit for themselves. This means that at the end of the process, despite their great efforts, a recruiter may not receive any compensation at all for their work. This environment drives steep competition and rigorous sense of urgency for Recruiters. For the candidates this means that when a recruiter requests information or action, it’s critical that a quick response is provided.

3. When 

Timing is everything in a job search. There are a number of situations in today’s economy that can necessitate a real sense of urgency in job seekers. If circumstances throw you into the job market unexpectedly it’s important to remember a few critical steps:

A. Update Immediately– a generic, bland (aka “boring”) resume will get you nowhere- engage your brain- think of what position you want to be recruited for design your resume accordingly. Total honesty is the only way to go here- no fluffing resumes people. Don’t waste your time or theirs.

B.  Upload Immediately– your tailored resume to the major and minor job boards (Monster, Careerbuilder, etc) Fill in all the blanks and don’t cut corners- this is your virtual first impression- so max it out!

C.  Refresh Weekly– Most people aren’t aware that there are two simple ways that resume results are listed on a Recruiter’s search screen. They are listed by relevance- how much similarity the resume has to the key words the Recruiter entered into their search screen OR by Date Modified. Date Modified is pretty self-explanatory- clearly it behooves a Job Seeker to update and refresh their information frequently. Who wants to be buried under 100 of your competitor resumes? Heck no!

Respond Quickly-most recruiters work from a short list of similarly qualified candidates- so it’s really important to answer the phone or email promptly. Three days later and the window of opportunity may be closed, the market is just that competitive.

4. Where 

Because there is a substantial cost involved for access to the online resume databases like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com and others, recruiters and employers may only have access to one system or another. These job boards are most often free services to job seekers. It makes sense to upload your information and resume(s) to several job boards to increase your chances of catching the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter on one of the sites. Remember- an incomplete or poorly filled out profile is not going to benefit you…so do it thoroughly! I do not recommend paying for any job board that might require a fee- honestly I don’t see that as necessary with the larger boards offering free services and having such an enormous reach.

5. Why

For years I’ve marveled at how fabulous this “recruiting thing” is. While you Job Seekers are out at the ballpark with your kids or building your fantasy football team, your resume is being reviewed and assessed by Recruiters all over the world… literally! So incredibly easy for Job Seekers to have access to companies and industries that they have invested zero time in building relationships with- you simply pick up the phone when a Recruiter reaches out to you- and you gain access to Key Decision Makers and insight/feedback that is priceless. Reminds me of those “Speed pass” tokens that the big theme parks are using nowadays…

Jobseeker with my help = go to front of line 

Jobseeker solo = good luck with that online application process and a whole lotta wondering where you stand in the process

I know that some recruiters have certainly left a lot lacking in their professionalism- we’ll affectionately call those “Knuckleheads”. Nice folks I’m sure, but short sighted and lacking advanced recruitment skills they rely on “Key Word Bingo” to “guesstimate” whether a Jobseeker has the skills and experience to “possibly” be a fit for their client’s needs. Add in a healthy dose of inefficient interviewing and lackluster reference checking and you’ll begin to understand how some Jobseekers can become skeptical. Fortunately with the bar set so low, it’s pretty easy to be impressive! (hopefully as we say in the South, “all-a-y’all” can figure out I’m just kidding here ; )

The point I really want to drive home is that having a great relationship with a Recruiter is one of the best investments you can make in your career. Someone that truly understands you and will keep an eye out for you? Fabulous. Someone that understands what opportunities make sense for you and even more importantly- who understands what opportunities really are NOT the best choice for you…now THAT is priceless.

Making the right choice is so important. Avoiding the wrong choices is equally so.

Lauren Goodson, Founder and President of Cornerstone Recruitment Group and Career Expert Academy http://careerexpertacademy.com  is a nationally renowned expert in Job Search Strategies, Career Coaching and Hiring for the Professional audience. She has helped thousands of job seekers to achieve their potential and grow their career.  Through CareerExpertAcademy.com ,  Lauren has redefined professional job search training by establishing an all-in-one resource for extensive and exceptional expert information.  Be sure to visit http://careerexpertacademy.com for more info.

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  1. Lauren,

    I enjoyed reading your informative and well written blog. I appreciated the help that you provided me during my consideration for a recent position in Michigan. Thanks for all you do.

    Best regards,
    Karl Van Blankenburg

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