The Candidate's Guide to Recruiter Etiquette - Ode to Emily Post

By Carmen Jeffery

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The Candidate's Guide to Recruiter Etiquette"Good manners reflect something from inside-an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self."
-Emily Post

I’m getting tired of candidates sending me their friend’s resumes; I’m also getting tired of receiving unsolicited resumes through LinkedIn and people who come to my web site. When I’m recruiting, a resume is only worth something if I have a search that aligns with the candidate it represents. I don’t really care who's looking for work when I’m recruiting; I care who's looking for talent. Seems harsh but it’s true.

I started to offer Job Search coaching as a way of helping job seekers. I also chat on twitter via #OMCchat, #HBRrogue, and #Animalchat – all of these venues are set up to help job seekers get better at job searching and working with recruiters.  I decided to offer job search coaching as a service and a legitimate way of working with people who reached out for help. I care about helping people, but I need to make a living too.

This rant is not mine alone; ask any recruiter what they think of being the recipient of  random unsolicited resumes. This all got me thinking that there are myriad good ways to get a recruiter’s attention, build a relationship and get a job…..

I wish the recruiting business had an Emily Post of sorts, someone who wrote the golden rules of how to deal with recruiters so we could send it out, post it on our websites and educate job seekers and their well-intended friends.

Here are my 7 golden rules of how to mind your manners and get respect from recruiters.

1) Don’t ask recruiters for meetings out of the blue. Why would a recruiter want to meet you? Are you a candidate for a role he or she has posted, do you have potential clients for them, what is your value proposition? IF YOU’D LIKE TO MEET WITH A RECRUITER BE PREPARED TO OFFER SOMETHING OF VALUE THAT WILL HELP HE OR SHE BECOME SUCCESSFUL BY WORKING WITH YOU.

2) Add your profession to your LinkedIn headline so your invites tell your audience what you do for a living. GOOD RECRUITERS WILL NOT VISIT YOUR PROFILE UNLESS THE HEADLINE IN YOUR INVITE TELLS THEM WHAT YOU DO FOR A LIVING, IF IT DOESN'T THEY’LL PRESS IGNORE

3) Don’t send unsolicited resumes. RECRUITERS NEED CLIENTS MORE THAN THEY NEED RESUMES. Unsolicited resumes get deleted, uploaded to a database with very few notes or they are simply ignored.

4) Candidates are easier to find than clients, the best way of helping a recruiter is to send him or her new business. The second best way is to help them find a candidate for a role they are working on by leveraging your network for them. DON’T SEND RECRUITERS YOUR FRIENDS AND MAKE RANDOM USELESS INTRODUCTIONS.

5) Research recruiters before you call or email them. MAKE SURE THE RECRUITERS YOU TARGET SPECIALISE IN PLACING PEOPLE WITH YOUR SKILLS AND EXPERTISE, RESEARCH THEM ON GOOGLE, FIND THEIR POSTINGS AND BLOGS AND THEN REACH OUT  ( be sure to keep it short and simple, it’s safe to say, “all commission based recruiters have ADD and none of them read cover letters”)

6) If you want to stay in touch with a recruiter who you’ve worked with, don’t call them every two weeks, that’s just plain pestering. IF YOU WANT TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH A RECRUITER CREATE A MEANINGFUL CONNECTION. This can be done by going to events together, inviting them for lunch, dinner, engaging them on social media or even sharing content with them that you think will help their business.

7) If a recruiter has presented you to a client or has sent you for an interview, don’t call frequently for feedback. IF A CLIENT WANTS YOU, THE RECRUITER WANTS YOU, FEEDBACK TAKES TIME, BE PATIENT.

Author Info

Check out my website to learn more about me and the work I do:

You'll see my Blog, my approach to recruitment and what I've been up to on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.                                                      

I'm a freelance recruiter and job search coach based in Toronto, Canada. I have a passion for working with growth companies and sourcing their interim or full-time executives. My 15 years in recruitment encompasses work with technology start-ups as well as companies who are going through transformation and change. I thrive when I'm working with dynamic teams who achieve great things with the ground moving beneth their feet.


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