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1. Show No Fear
“The best way to stand out to recruiters is to stand up to them” says Joseph Terach, CEO at career services firm. “Don’t let them overly influence your preferences for work responsibilities, arrangements or salary based on their reported understanding of the employer.”
Your job search is your own, even if they are helping. Terach recommends listening to the insider information recruiters can provide, “but keep in mind that recruiters have split allegiances and are salespeople at the end of the day.”
Knowing what you want is a great way to stand out, Terach says. You’re not just looking for “a job”; you can tell the recruiter the job you want.
“If you come to the table with a crisp professional pitch, not only will your recruiter know exactly what it is you want (and don’t want), but they will also be more able to discuss you and communicate your background to potential employers,” he says. “It will save you time because you won’t be getting calls for interviews that don’t interest you; and when your recruiter finds the right job for you (one that fits your pitch), he/she will have zero reservations to get behind your candidacy 100 percent.”
3. Be Honest
You of course want to put your best foot forward when dealing with recruiters, but it’s important to be candid about any shortcomings you have as well, says Heather Neisen, talent coordinator. “Self-awareness and honesty are extremely important. Be proud to share your strengths and passions, but also be able to openly discuss areas where you need — or better yet, want — to improve.”
Many candidates don’t realize being honest about their shortcomings actually offers a chance to shine, she says. “Admit them and offer ways you’re trying to overcome them. Few things are worse than a candidate who believes they have nothing left to learn.”
4. Highlight Your Tenure
If you’ve got staying power, promote it, says Andy Barberio, account executive at Fortus Healthcare Resources. “I always look at tenure — tenure is really big. When you find somebody that’s been with an organization for a long time or has helped build it up, they are marketable. Switching jobs every year or year and a half over a five to six year period doesn’t present the best on a resume.”
5. Let Yourself Shine
Barberio says you can’t teach personality, but if you have it, flaunt it. “Personality and fit and being able to relate to staff is tough,” but it’s what recruiters are looking for. Some positions just require “a special kind of person,” he explains, and recruiters will try to get a feel for who you are when they are meeting with you. Being yourself will help the recruiter find the best fit for you and your skills.