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Help your recruiter help you, Vail Valley job-seekers

Navigating the job market is challenging for a lot of Vail Valley residents right now. The question on the minds of many is how to make that navigation a little easier and more productive. Several readers have asked specifically about the best way to work with a recruiter during their job search or time of transition.

The first thing is to set realistic expectations when contacting a recruiter. It is important to understand that recruiters’ desks are stacked with resumes these days. So if they don’t respond immediately, don’t panic.

Also, “Know what the recruiter specializes in” says Brad Gray of McAleer Gray, a top recruiting agency in Denver. Gray added that “job seekers need to take the time to research the agency’s Web site, just as they would research a company that they were interested in working with.”

If you are currently employed, the best thing to do is have a relationship with a top recruiter. This way, if you find yourself looking for work, you already have a solid contact.

“Even if you are employed and you receive a call from a recruiter, always take the call or return the call. You may not be in the market, but you could know someone that would be a good fit for that search. This will help build the beginning of a strong relationship that will help down the road if you need it,” said Judy Kennelley of Integrity Network, Inc., who has been an executive recruiter in Colorado for more than 20 years.

For those seeking work right now, Kennelley said, “Job seekers sending cover letters and resumes in to a recruiter need to keep the cover letter brief, with a clear, focused message.”

She added that too often she sees cover letters that try to explain the job-seeker’s whole life story or go into too much detail about why or how they became available or unemployed. Because recruiters are so inundated with potential applicants, they can’t possibly read and screen the longer cover letters and resumes.

The same concept should be applied to reaching out to a recruiter. Send a resume and brief cover letter, follow up with a call and if you get voice mail, make sure your message is clear and concise. You can also follow up with an e-mail. If there’s no response, it is absolutely OK to follow up with a second message or call.

Applicants should offer to help the recruiter, too, Kennelley said. Ask how you can help them in the event you are not the best fit for any openings they have. You can offer to introduce them to companies looking for a recruiter or to other talented, skilled, and motivated candidates in your network.

Remember Zig Ziglar’s philosophy – “You can have everything in life that you want, as long as you help enough other people get what they want.”

Finally, treat recruiters with the same appreciation and respect you would show any hiring manager. Top recruiters like Kennelly and Gray, as well as others throughout Colorado, can help you with everything from your resume to your interviewing skills if they feel you have the talent, motivation, and skills that will add value to their clients. If you navigate the recruiter pathway properly, you will certainly increase your chances of securing your next career.

Keep the faith, stay positive, and help your recruiter help you. Let me know how the search is going at msnorton@comcast.net and make it a better than good week!

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.


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