Welcome to 2013! It is refreshing to enter into a New Year of hope and prospect. This is especially true since 7.8 percent of unemployment numbers remained unchanged by December 2012, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regardless, it is in our best interest to stay optimistic by continuing to strive for job opportunities that will not only provide us with a livelihood, but also a significant amount of personal satisfaction. Yet, how do we tactfully stay on a recruiter’s radar, and have them remember us even when the last interaction didn’t result in a job offer? Well, we know how the saying goes, “out of sight, out of mind,” and with such steep competition, we can’t afford to get lost in the shuffle. As my New Year’s gift to you, the following “Forget-me-not” ways are the five I’ve encountered as effective in maintaining a positive rapport with recruiters. Developing a “healthy” on-going relationship with decision-makers will often lead to reconsideration, and finally a bona fide job offer.
1. Handwrite Notes and Cards
In this techno-saturated job seeking age, a handwritten note may seem as archaic as watching black and white television. Trust me—it’s not. Finding the right stationary, writing instrument, gathering your thoughts, writing a compelling message, addressing the envelope, placing a stamp, and finally delivering it to a mailbox takes effort, and that effort can often move you across the finish line. First of all, your competition is not taking the time to do this. They’re too busy looking at the job sites and company portals, but you—you MUST strive to be different. Well-written, classically presented mail correspondence says a lot about your attention to detail, your initiative, and your finesse.
2. Acknowledge a Noteworthy Event
Social media gives us an exceptional advantage to learn information about recruiters that they choose to share through outlets such as Linkedin. Follow a recruiter’s progress, and acknowledge their promotion or new job. They may be in a better position to hire you in their new role. In addition, make note of special occasions such as birthdays or the anniversary of their tenure at their current company. Don’t worry, you’re not stalking. It’s public information. I for one, am a big birthday person, and welcome genuine celebratory messages of all sorts on…oh…well I’ll leave it up to you to look up the date.
3. Use the Six Degrees of Separation Theory
Popularized by John Guare’s play which premiered in 1990, and “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” the “Six Degrees of Separation” theory is one that places everyone six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. Thus, a “friend of a friend” chain can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of six steps. Using this principle, you may be able to connect the recruiter with a viable candidate for a position completely unrelated to the type of job you are after. What’s the benefit? You identify yourself as a reliable asset for the recruiter, and you become a trusted member of their ‘go-to’ resource group. In addition, you will be helping the friend or acquaintance seeking a new opportunity. Nothing like a little bit of good karma; and you will certainly not be forgotten for your good deed.
4. Link, “Like,” Subscribe, or Follow
With so many social media outlets to stay fresh on a recruiter’s mind, choose one or several of such platforms to remain actively connected. Linkedin is my #1 social media site to “link” myself to any recruiter or business contact. Perhaps, they (or you) have a specialty page on FaceBook, and you can “like” one another, or you may opt to subscribe to the public posts on their personal FB page (so you don’t feel like you are infringing on their privacy). Through Twitter you may choose to “retweet” or “favorite” a recruiter’s job postings or any other valuable information in order to become an ambassador of the message they’re looking to convey.
5. Join a Mutual Online Networking Group
Chances are that if you are looking for a job in the finance or accounting sectors, the recruiter who has interviewed you at such a company is interested in groups within the same field(s). Become an active contributor of a group you may both have in common, and wow the recruiter (and other recruiters) by sharing interesting, witty, and/or thought-provoking commentary online. This provides a new and different forum for you to voice your opinions and distinguish yourself as an expert in your field. Beware of coming across as too opinionated or self-righteous. It will have an adverse effect. Instead, be diplomatic, concise, and most of all likable in your virtual presentation.
Remember to be patiently persistent…and you will not be forgotten. Make 2013 the year of change for the better. Good luck!