About a month ago, we let out a couple secrets on the best ways to grab a recruiter’s attention, according to Eagle’s recruiters. A survey revealed that you’ll get best results when contacting them directly, but the reality is, due to their hectic schedule, they may not get back to you immediately. The next best step is to apply for jobs and build online profiles to make sure they find you. In a follow-up post, we provided some ideas on where to apply and build a profile, but have you thought about a job application strategy?
That seems like an odd question. Of course you’ll apply to the jobs that match your profession. But how deeply to you review the qualifications? Do you apply to jobs for which you’re barely qualified, as long as the title is somewhat similar to what you’ve done in the past? Or do you make sure you meet 100% of the experience a client is seeking before submitting your resume? Eagle’s recruiters have an opinion about that too!
Read the Job Description Before Applying
Most job postings will include some mandatory qualifications and some desirable qualifications, and it’s a good idea to carefully review them all. The vast majority of Eagle recruiters (85%) want you to meet all of the mandatory requirements before you apply to their job, otherwise you will be rejected. There are, however, mixed opinions on the topic of desirables. While few recruiters expect you to meet all of them, some do want you to have a large percentage of those optional qualifications. Others aren’t as concerned and will keep you on the shortlist as long as you pass the mandatory section.
While these preferences are a great guideline to consider, it isn’t black and white. It’s important that you know and understand the current market. If the contract opportunity is in a competitive market, for a role where there are many potential applicants, you’ll need to make certain that you meet most, if not all, of the qualifications. If the opposite is true, and the role requires some niche skills that you can provide, the desirable requirements can be less important.
You Need to Demonstrate that You Qualify
Knowing that you’re qualified and demonstrating that you’re qualified for a position are two very different things. Last month, Morley Surcon wrote a post about adding focus to your resume and customizing it for each role. Recruiters review many resumes so will not always take the time to read between the lines. If you know that you meet requirements, clearly show it and demonstrate exactly how you gained that experience. It may take some extra work, but it will go a very long way!
Don’t Throw Spaghetti at the Wall
Some contractors take a strategy of applying to absolutely everything, hoping to eventually get a call for something, the equivalent of throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. This approach can have some negative consequences. In fact, more than half of Eagle’s recruiters say that if you apply to everything, they’ll eventually start ignoring you. Throwing your name into the hat for every job gives a perception of desperation and can make it difficult for a recruiter to take you seriously.
One recruiter put it this way “Applying to every job indiscriminately is like ordering every dish on a menu – as nice as it would be to eat EVERYTHING, you will only actually eat 1-2 preferred dishes. An applicant must have a handle on their skillset, and a strong understanding of what they are qualified to do. Untargeted submissions lead me to believe that a candidate lacks confidence in their skills/abilities. If an applicant is not confident in their skills, how can I – a recruiter – represent them with confidence?”
So, do you have a job application strategy? Are you carefully considering if you qualify or do you throw spaghetti at the wall? What have been the results of those applications? Let us know in the comments below.