Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
Recruiters have a tough job. In addition to being in the position of saying “No” many more times than ever, having the privilege of saying “Yes,” they are busier than ever with running complex applicant tracking system (ATS) software at their companies. Some recruiters are even managing their consultancies, where every second of effort counts toward their bottom line.
Let’s take a look at perspectives on dealing with recruiters in an always-on, hyper-competitive, and applicant-crowded recruiting environment. We can also develop insights into how recruiters work to present themselves in a more compelling and favourable light, perhaps accelerating an application process that can land you your next desired position.
Yesterday’s Network — The Good Old Days
In the days before internet and recruitment management systems, both applicants and recruiters stayed in touch even after a single hiring decision did not turn into a job match, and here’s why:
A good recruiter realized that the best way to get through to good people was through other good people. If one particular applicant did not work out, for whatever reason, chances were that the applicant knew other professionals in the industry. This is how resourceful recruiters built their networks.
Applicants stayed in touch with independent recruiters and often alerted them when their company was hiring. The recruiter could then use this inside information to seek out potential contract work. In addition, the applicant could maintain a professional relationship with the recruiter for future career security should the recruiter’s help be needed again in the future.
In a way, it was just good business for both sides to be helpful to one another. Recruiters held a lot more long-term power in an era when help Wanted ads only advertised available jobs. Yet, they understood that they were only as strong as their applicant pool, so recruiters generally treated their applicants very well.
Nowadays, these traditional relationships are mainly non-existent. Recruiters working in networking databases and other recruitment systems are drowning in resumes. Job seekers often feel that recruiters do not need to rely on or maintain relationships with applicants.
The efficiencies promised by automated ATS software have meant that the recruiting process is less human than ever. Yet, at the same time, recruiters still claim that finding suitable applicants for hard-to-fill positions is still a challenge.
Today — LinkedIn
For both job seekers and recruiters, LinkedIn now serves as the ultimate foundation for recruiting and job-seeking efforts. Applicants regularly perform keyword searches for both company names and their occupation’s name through LinkedIn’s job search function in hopes of finding a way into their ideal companies.
Likewise, recruiters often seek out candidates via LinkedIn, performing keyword searches for particular skills or experiences. This, in itself, presents another case for keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date and as keyword-rich as possible. In addition, connecting through LinkedIn seems like a good idea for both parties to connect and discuss job possibilities.
What Happens Next?
What happens if you go through the entire application and interview process and still do not get the job? What happens now?
A good recruiter will continue to keep you in their LinkedIn network — and of course, you know to not remove this recruiter as a connection. Even if one particular job did not work out, the recruiter has personally connected with you and knows that you will likely be connected to others in your industry. Your LinkedIn connections will show up as second connections when the recruiter performs future prospective applicant searches. You can become a valuable asset in this recruiter’s quest to find the next perfect candidate.
In addition, now that you have become connected with the recruiter, you may have more direct contact information (e.g., private email and possibly a phone number). At some point, when it makes sense to reach out to the recruiter, explain where you are in your job search and ask if they have any ideas or knows of any opportunities.
The point is to serve as a resource for the recruiter — an information source who provides guidance and value. The recruiter may not be the hiring manager for the next open position, but if they see your value, rest assured that a good word will be put in for you.
An Act of Selflessness Wins Every Time
When you are intently focused on finding your next opportunity, it may be challenging to think of others’ employment situations. But, are you familiar with the concept of ‘paying it forward? If so, then you will understand why it might be worth your time to perform an act of kindness or selflessness for your recruiter and a colleague.
If you see the right opportunity, you could play matchmaker between a trusted colleague and a recruiter with whom you have connected. When acting in this position, make sure that a meaningful job opportunity exists for your colleague, and a great match exists to meet your recruiter’s objectives. This thoughtful act will leave an indelible mark on both parties — and at the same time, get your name remembered for broadening opportunities for you.
After all, you can’t identify and apply to every single appropriate job opportunity. By growing and strengthening your network of colleagues with whom you have demonstrated your value, you are essentially creating an ad-hoc recruiting team that seeks out additional career opportunities for you.
In a way, you will have turned an act of kindness into an efficient recruiting process for yourself. Well done!
It would help if you learned how to accept rejection.
Do not panic when you are notified that you were not selected for a particular position. There are reasons for this. This is not the end of the world. The job offer might have been given to other candidates who might have been better qualified than you. Remember that the fact that someone else was selected doesn’t mean that you were not good enough. Think about it carefully and do not take it out on the recruiter, or you will certainly regret it in the future. Give yourself some time to process the news. Remember that the fact that someone else was selected does not mean
Ways to stay relevant in your field after not getting a job offer
Make sure that you update your LinkedIn profile with the most up-to-date information, mainly if this results from a career change. Likely, any recruiter who might be interested in you has already visited your LinkedIn page. Therefore, the more complete and accurate your profile is, the faster recruiters will find it.
In addition, do not forget about your professional network. Make sure that they include you on any job postings from their companies and reach out from time to time to see if there is an opportunity for you.
One more thing: consider participating in a forum or discussion board where people can ask questions about your field of expertise. If you have a strong understanding of your industry’s going on, you can never go wrong by offering support and advice to future professionals.
In any case, remember that all this gives you a chance to demonstrate your value as a professional. The next time someone looks for a candidate with your skills and experience, they will remember the great things you’ve done and refrain from writing you off just because you didn’t get the first offer.
Do Some Introspection
Take some time to reflect on why you didn’t get the job or the offer from the firm that you interviewed with. This may be an excellent opportunity to consider what you can do to improve your application for the next job opportunity.
Whether you’re employed or not, you have options. Whether you’re currently looking for a new job or you’re already working, you can make changes. Changes in your life, changes in your finances, changes in your career. We all need to make changes, but sometimes it’s easy to forget the best way to do so.
Show some gratitude when others do something for you.
When you feel rejected, it is not the right thing to do to sulk. Instead, it would help if you acknowledged that the company interviewed you and thanked them for the opportunity to express your interest in the company. Be friendly and then, in the future, try to get back in touch with them if you think you might be able to join the company.
Keep track of the newest opportunities.
If you do find yourself applying again in the future, there’s one more way to make sure you’re on top of the latest openings: “Sign up for job alerts. You can do this on sites like Indeed, Monster and Glassdoor,” says Finnegan. In addition to keeping you up-to-date on what’s going on at the company, it also gives you the chance to send in your resume and get in front of the hiring manager.
Say Thank You
It can be challenging to know when to keep in touch with a recruiter or hiring manager after an interview. You don’t want to come off as pushy by checking in too often, but you want to show that you are interested in the position and eager to learn about the next steps. A great way to appear professional is to send a thank-you note after your interview. This is a simple and effective way to demonstrate your gratitude. Just be sure that you don’t send the message before the interview is over — that can come off as desperate or too eager. Another great way to keep in touch with recruiters is by asking them if they prefer to receive correspondence.
Here are a few samples of how to write to a recruiter after an interview.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate the opportunity to interview with your company; I learned a lot about it in the process, and I’m learning even more now through your feedback. Please let me know if there is anything further that I might do to help move my candidacy forward. Thank you again.
I just wanted to let you know that I, unfortunately, didn’t get an offer for this position. However, it was a pleasure to meet with everyone and learn more about the company.
Thank you again for your valuable time and consideration. It is always a pleasure getting together at events/seminars/interviewing etc. Have a great holiday season.
I just wanted to thank you again for the opportunity of interviewing with your company. I have not been told so officially, but I suspect you will be going in a different direction. Again, it was a pleasure to meet everyone and learn more about the organization. If there is anything else I can do or information that I can provide, please let me know.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed speaking with you and learning about the position. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out this time; however, please let me know if anything else comes up that fits my skill set — thanks again!
Thank you again for your time and consideration. It was excellent speaking with you today and
Although you might be tempted to send a follow-up email, that’s probably not the best way to handle it. You want a recruiter to remember you, but don’t annoy them by contacting them too often.
As you continue to work with recruiters, always ask them, ‘Is there anything further that I can do for you?’ You will be happy that you did. I hope this helps you with your job search! Good luck. Do you know any other ways to say thank you to a recruiter who is not employed/hired by the company? What about those recruiters who don’t reply or follow up with candidates after interviews? Let us know in the comments below!