What is a recruiter and how can they help with your job search?

According to Staffing Industry Analysts, a global advisor on staffing and workplace solutions, the global staffing industry, including temporary and direct placement staffing, generated $429 billion dollars in 2016. That revenue grew by 6% in 2017 and is projected to grow an additional 6% in 2018. With nearly 90% of US firms using outside staffing agencies, it’s amazing that only 18% of candidates work with agency recruiters when looking for a new job.

While job boards like CareerBuilder and Monster are a great place to start, they cannot replace the insight and industry knowledge of a professional recruiter. So I sat down with Marianne Napp, Senior Technical Recruiter, to learn more about how an agency recruiter can help in your job search.

Marianne Napp, Senior Technical Recruiter

Marianne Napp, Senior Technical Recruiter

Marianne has more than 25 years of experience in the recruiting industry working for national and boutique recruiting firms.  She has helped more than 1000 job candidates secure great positions with some of the best companies in Michigan. Currently she focuses on placement in the automotive engineering sector but previously her specialty was in the area of finance and accounting professional placement. She is a rock star in her field and here she shares with us what she looks for in a resume, how important your LinkedIn profile really is and why honesty is the key to a good recruiter/candidate relationship.

How did you get into recruiting?

Funny enough I was actually a job applicant seeking a new position and I was working with a recruiter to help me in my job search. As I went through the process with the recruiting specialist I was impressed by what a great job they did. I approached the company about entry level positions and was hired in my first entry level role as a recruiting assistant. From there my career took off. Being a recruiter is its own profession, much like being an accountant, engineer or sales person. I have a great passion for what I do - it’s a rewarding way to help people and I feel like I really do help change people’s lives.

How do recruiters work and why would a candidate want to work with one?

Having a good recruiter on your side can make the job hunting process almost painless. As a candidate you get to tap into the network of the recruiting firm. They make all the contacts for you and help you with only qualified job leads that match your skills and career goals.  A good recruiter can help coach you through the process of interviews and job offers.  Also, there isn’t any fee to the candidate so it’s a free service – like using a realtor to house hunt. If you have a good recruiter in your corner it can also mean not only having access to the best jobs but also having a skilled negotiator on your side when it comes to getting the best salary. 

Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes a day, what makes a resume stand out for you?

I look at resumes with a very critical eye. Sure, I look at things like spelling, grammar, and the job description basics but I also focus on the content.  A candidate that took the time to note things like professional accomplishments and successes will move to the top of my list.  In today’s world, a company looks for employees that can help the company make money, save money, or improve some process that will make the company more efficient.  Listing things like this on your resume can really help you stand out. 

How important is LinkedIn when looking for a job?

I think networking in general is an important part of the job hunting process. Using all the resources and tools at your disposal is critical. LinkedIn has really become a good way to find job leads and connect with other professionals in your area. Also, LinkedIn can provide insight on the audience you might meet on a interview and give you valuable intelligence on the interviewer’s background.  Knowing what you have in common with someone or if you know the same people is always a difference maker.  LinkedIn has been a valuable resource in that way.

Any tips for making a stand out LinkedIn Profile?

Everyone should have a robust LinkedIn profile and keep it updated and fresh with new things you are doing.  Ask for recommendations from your network and have them posted on your page. Join groups that are in your industry or trade. Follow companies that are on your radar so you can keep abreast of what’s new, changing or happening in your field.

Is it okay to connect with a recruiter that works in your field and send them a message?

It’s a good idea to send a connection request, email or LinkedIn message to a recruiter in your field. They will always welcome the opportunity to network with you and share ideas. If you also follow-up with a phone call, that’s very helpful. It’s a way to set yourself apart from others.

As a recruiter, what do you want candidates to know when working with you?

I always let the candidate know that when we work together it’s a team effort. I'm always 100% transparent and need the same from them in order for us to be successful. It’s a trust thing - so in order for me to do the best job possible for them, we need to be on the same page.  I believe in  honesty and integrity and sometimes I have to deliver bad news (like you didn’t get the job) or tell a candidate things they need to work on to improve their interview skills. Interviews are like auditions, they are not only stressful but can be scary for most people.  I see my role as a coach, trying to arm you with the best information so you can make the best impression. Practice makes perfect so a big part of my process is role playing and mock interviews with candidates before they get to the real job interview.  That way they can be prepared for what’s coming and we can work through the kinks before they get there. I don’t place every candidate that I represent but I do try to give every candidate good information or ideas that they can apply no matter what interview they land. 

Any final thoughts?

Keep in mind that finding a new job is a lot of work. Its takes effort and time. If you are working with a recruiter in your search, keep the line of communication open. They want to hear from you after each interview so they can get your feedback. They want to know if you liked the company or didn’t (and why). A good recruiter will always return your call or email, even it’s to tell you they don’t have any news.  Hold yourself to that same standard and it should be a pleasant experience.

Happy Job Hunting!