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.

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.



The Most Common Job Search Errors & How to Avoid Them

Everyone messes up. But when it comes to your job search, the stakes are high and one wrong move can make a bad impression on the hiring manager. So what are some of the most common ones to avoid? The career coaching service experts at ResumeSpice have the answers you need. Here’s a look at a few:

Not customizing your resume.

Resumes are hard to write. Once you’ve polished yours, you might be ready to call it a day. However, you need to customize it every time you apply for a position. Otherwise, you’re missing out on an important opportunity to highlight your most relevant strengths and set yourself apart from other candidates.

Including too much information.

Whether it’s your cover letter or your resume, hiring managers only take a few seconds to scan each one. That’s why you need to write in clear and concise language, communicating your value with as much brevity as possible. Long sentences and dense paragraphs simply won’t get read.

Applying to jobs you’re not really qualified for.

Sure, there might be a job that sounds like a dream, one you want desperately. And it’s ok to take a long shot once in a while. But don’t make it a habit, applying to everything that sounds interesting, even if you’re not really qualified. Instead, if you want the best chance at finding the right job quickly, aim for quality over quantity in terms of where you apply.

Missing the mark during the interview.

Whether you arrived late, weren’t dressed properly for the interview, or gave vague answers, a hiring manager isn’t going to think twice about you once you walk out the door. The job interview is your first chance to make a great face-to-face impression and you need to seriously prepare for it if you want the job.

Poor references.

You nailed your resume, aced the interview and are pretty much guaranteed the offer. But how strong are your references? If you only included a list of coworkers and colleagues, then the hiring manager is going to wonder why you don’t want them calling a manager. Likewise, make sure your references are all well-informed ahead of time, so they understand the role and why you’re a great fit for it.

Failing to follow up.

It might sound old-fashioned to you. However, following up after the interview, whether it’s via email or a note, is just another way to set yourself apart to a hiring manager. This is critical if the decision is between you and another candidate. If you follow up with a carefully written email sent in a timely manner – and the other candidate does not – your odds of getting the job are much higher.

Want an expert in your corner to help with your job search?

Contact the career coaching service professionals at ResumeSpice. We can help you with every aspect of your search, from resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile writing to interview preparation. Find out more by reaching out to our team at 832.930.7378 or by contacting us online.


Beyond Your Resume: 5 Things Recruiters Want to See During the Hiring Process

Just because the unemployment rate is low, doesn’t mean companies are willing to hire just anyone. You still need to prove yourself and make the case as to why you’re the right fit for a job. So how do you do that? The interview prep experts at ResumeSpice have the answers you need. Here’s a look at five things recruiters want to see during the hiring process.  (more…)