When to Use a Recruiter – and When You Shouldn’t

If you’re looking for a new job, you don’t have to go it alone. You can bring in the expertise of a professional recruiter to assist you in the process, so you find your next role, faster. However, not all are created equal and sometimes it’s best to go it alone. How can you tell and determine whether or not you should use a recruiter? Here are some tips to consider:

When to Use a Recruiter

When your job search seems stuck.

If you’ve been searching for a job for a long time without good results, a recruiter can review your resume and cover letter and assess your interview skills, all to pinpoint any areas that need improvement. They can also give you insight into what hiring managers are looking for in candidates, so you can promote your background and abilities in a way that will get you noticed.

When you’re in-demand or have a hard-to-find skill.

When this is the case, recruiters can evaluate your background and abilities and help to match you with the best-fit position. One of the benefits of working with a recruiter is that they have a lot of insight about the employers they partner with, so you can assess whether they’d be right for your goals, personality and career needs.

When you’re too busy.

Is your current job keeping you too busy to apply to positions and follow up on leads? If so, a recruiter can help. They’ll stay on top of current openings, from advertised ones to those that are hidden, as well. You’ll be able to find out and apply to them faster and more efficiently while having an advocate working for you.

When Not to Use a Recruiter

When you’re entry-level.

Most employers who are using a recruiter aren’t looking for an entry-level employee. That said, there are some recruiters who specialize in placing entry-level workers, so if you’re just starting out in your career, look for those instead.

When you need advice.

Are you interested in changing fields? Are you uncertain about your career next steps? A professional career coach is a better fit for you than a recruiter. They can discuss your strengths and accomplishments, talk about your lifestyle needs and goals, and then help to put a career plan together that will put you on the trajectory that’s right for you.

Interested in getting the help you need in your career from a coach?

Turn to the professional career coaches at ResumeSpice. We can offer you the insight, guidance and feedback you’re looking for, so you make the right career move. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.

Nail the Phone Interview! Phone Interview Question & Answer Examples

Phone interviews can often seem more stressful than in-person ones. What if someone calls or texts you during it? What if your service cuts out for some reason? And how can you read the hiring manager when you can’t see their body language?

These are certainly valid concerns to have. But, just like a face-to-face interview, the best approach to take is to be well-prepared. When you are, you’ll feel calmer and more confident, so you can ace your answers. A few to get ready for include:

Tell me about yourself.

It’s such a small question and yet it can be so difficult for candidates to answer. How do you sum yourself and your career up in a few short sentences? Focus on your abilities and accomplishments that relate most to the position. Connect the dots for the hiring manager as to why you’re the best fit for the job. They don’t need to know that you delivered pizzas in college. However, they do need to know you have the skills and experience for the job.

How do you answer it?

One way is to use the past, present, future formula. In other words, explain where you’ve been career-wise in the recent past, what you do now and where you’d like to go. Be sure to highlight your strengths that are most relevant to the job.

What do you know about our company?

Answering with “not much” certainly isn’t the way to get on the good side of the hiring manager. Nor is repeating what’s on the “About” page of their website.

How do you answer it?

Instead, you can say something like: “I’ve been reading about your company online and find it particularly interesting that your mission is to do A, B and C. I spent the last 10 years doing A, so feel my background is a good fit for the job. From what I’ve read, it sounds like you’re also moving into D, which is an area I’d love to learn more about.”

Why are you / did you leave your last job?

This can be tricky, even if you’re leaving on good terms. You want to be honest, without ever talking in a negative way about your past boss or employer even if they deserve it.

How do you answer it?

One way includes stating something like: “I’ve been working in administration for several years and really love it. I’m ready to move up, but there simply isn’t room for advancement with my current employer.”

What are you looking for in your next job?

This is an important question to get right. The hiring manager knows what they need and what they can offer as an employer. They’re trying to assess whether you’re the right fit for it all.

How do you answer it?

Always be honest. If you’re not, you could wind up with a job or in a culture that’s not a good fit for you. So if you want a position where you can advance, say so. If you’d like a position that offers a different culture, explain why. For instance, you can say: “I’ve been working for eight years and am at a point where I know the kind of culture in which I’ll thrive. Unfortunately, my current employer doesn’t offer that. I’m looking for more of A and B.”

Why do you want this job?

A shorter commute. Better pay. More vacation time. These are all great reasons, but not what a hiring manager wants to hear. Instead, focus on what first attracted you to the job, the employer’s needs and what you can do for them.

How do you answer it?

As you’re preparing, go back and look at the job posting or research the company online for inspiration. For instance, if the firm has a strong reputation as an industry leader, say something like: “What caught my eye most about your company is your level of innovation. I’m always working to improve my skills and abilities through different training courses and seminars and it seems like your company strives too to stay on the leading edge.”

Need more help getting ready for your next interview?

Contact the professional interview preparation experts at ResumeSpice. We can guide you through the process so you impress the hiring manager and get a callback. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.

Best Answers to the Interview Question: Describe Yourself in 5 Words

When it comes to your interview, you’ve got a lot of prep work to do. While you won’t know every question you’ll get asked, the good news is that there are many common ones that most hiring managers cover. One of these is to describe yourself. If you’re not prepared to give a solid answer, this request can throw you off track. But what should you say, in five words or less? Here are a few tips from our interview prep experts to keep in mind as you’re figuring it out:

Take the question seriously.

Don’t laugh it off or act like it’s a joke or silly request. You’ll offend the hiring manager and make a bad impression in the process. Instead, make sure you’re taking the question seriously, just as you would any other question.

Be honest with your answer.

You want to position yourself in the best light. However, don’t go overboard and exaggerate your qualities or list those you know you don’t have simply because it will make you look good. Instead, think through the requirements for the job and how your unique attributes can best meet them.

Make a list.

It’s best to start writing out your thoughts when thinking about how you’d answer this question. Don’t edit yourself in any way. Continue to write until you can’t think of any other qualities you want to highlight. Then start to edit until you have the top five that best represent you for this particular job.

Avoid generic words and clichés.

Don’t include vague or boilerplate words like “good” or “superstar.” These don’t mean much and won’t impress the hiring manager. Instead, when you’re preparing your response, consider some of the following word choices:

  • Flexible
  • Hard-working
  • Persistent
  • Reliable
  • Enthusiastic
  • Responsive
  • Smart
  • Confident
  • Encouraging
  • Motivated
  • Friendly
  • Creative
  • Methodical

If you’re still unsure about which words describe you, ask a family member or friend. They might be able to offer you more insight into how others view you and how you can best describe yourself.

Need more help preparing for your next interview?

Turn to the interview prep team at ResumeSpice. We know what hiring managers expect from top candidates and can help you better prepare so you ace your next interview. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.

10 Easy Tips & Tricks to Perfect Your Resume

If your resume isn’t reaping the results you want, then it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate. The job market is always competitive; however, there are some steps you can take to drastically enhance your resume, giving it a better shot of getting noticed by a hiring manager. To help you in the process, here are 10 easy tips and tricks from the resume writing experts at ResumeSpice:

#1: Customize everything.

Before you send in a resume for a job, make sure you customized it for that particular opportunity. This means tweaking your tasks and accomplishments, so you’re featuring what’s most relevant.

#2: Include keywords.

Many companies use applicant tracking systems that screen resumes based on relevant keywords. So look to the job posting to identify those keywords and phrases that are most fitting for the position, then sprinkle them throughout your resume.

#3: Place your focus above the fold.

Hiring managers skim resumes, starting at the top. So if you focus your effort anywhere, make sure it’s above the fold – in other words, the top half – where they’ll spend the most time.

#4: Use active language.

When writing your resume, use the active voice, not the passive one. For instead, instead of saying: “Was able to achieve a 14% increase in sales,” state that you: “Achieved a 14% increase in sales.”

#5: Get rid of the objective.

This is an outdated item on your resume, one that simply wastes space. Instead, include a Summary of Qualifications and few bullets listing your key strengths and accomplishments at the top, under your contact information.

#6: Add numbers to your accomplishments.

Anywhere you can add facts or figures to your accomplishments or job duties is a good thing. However, don’t overdo it and add numbers to every single statement on your resume. Otherwise, it will be overwhelming and hard to remember for the hiring manager.

#7: Stay consistent with your formatting.

Don’t use multiple fonts, point sizes or bold some job titles and not others. Instead, make sure your resume is clean and polished with consistent formatting throughout.

#8: Don’t include unnecessary items.

For instance, don’t list any hobbies unless they are directly related to the job you’re applying to. Likewise, don’t make statements like “References are available upon request.” These simply take up space unnecessarily and take away from the focus on your strengths.

#9: Keep it short.

Brevity is key when it comes to your resume. You need to use clear and concise language that effectively persuades the hiring manager that you’re a fit. So don’t include every job you’ve ever had or write heavy paragraphs. Use bullet points, precise language and keep it all to one to two pages.

#10: Proofread everything.

Don’t send in a resume without proofreading it first. Take it a step further and ask a friend or family member with an eye for detail to review it before you submit it.

Get help with your resume for expert writers.

If you want to avoid common DIY resume mistakes, call the resume writing team at ResumeSpice. We’ll work to get to know your background, skills and strengths, all so we can help your resume stand out. Find out more by reaching out to us at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.

Top Questions to Ask a Recruiter Before Working With Them

You’re looking for a great new job, but seem to be hitting a wall. Or a recruiter just called and left you a message and you’re not sure what to do. Either way, you’ve never worked with one before and aren’t sure how to approach the potential relationship. The professional career coaches at ResumeSpice are here to help. Before you partner with one in your job search, here are some top questions to ask:

How long have you been in the industry?

When you’re putting your career into someone else’s hands, you want to ensure they have substantial experience. Asking this question will also give you a sense of whether they’ve worked with candidates like you in the past and their placement success rate.

What types of positions do you fill?

Recruiters come in all shapes and sizes. Some focus solely on temporary or contract opportunities, while others fill full-time jobs only. Some do a mix of both and can even specialize in specific industries. It’s therefore important to ensure the recruiter you’re considering is filling the kinds of openings you’d be interested in securing.

How long has this position been opened?

If there’s a specific opportunity a recruiter is calling you about, asking this question will give you a good idea of how the search is going and any potential red flags about the employer. For instance, if the job has been open for a year, then it’s a warning sign for you about the position or the company. If it’s been open for a week, then expect an application and interview process that will last at least several weeks or even months.

What are the top three or four qualifications for it?

Before you move ahead, you want to ensure you have the capabilities to handle the job. Asking this question will help you understand whether or not you can perform successfully in this position.

What do you know about the hiring manager?

This will give you more insight into how to best position your skills and background to them. It’s an especially good idea to ask this question if the hiring manager would also be the person you’d be reporting to. You’ll be able to get a better sense of whether their personality and leadership style are a good fit for you.

What’s the next step?

The recruiter might simply be trying to gauge your interest, or could need to fill the job by next week. In any case, you need to know what their timeline is and next steps are if you are interested in the job. If you’re not, be honest about it.

Want professional help from a career coach in your next job search?

Turn to the professional career coaches at ResumeSpice. We know what hiring managers look for in top candidates and can help you get the edge you need to get hired, faster. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.