Years ago when presenting candidates to hiring managers I was able to get the hiring managers on the phone and verbalize the presentation, create the interest and nail down the interview. At times I would get a request for the resume and agree to faxing it (remember those times?) after the interview was set. Most of the time though I was able to assure the hiring manager the candidate would bring the resume with them to the interview.
Things have changed over time though and I have either lost my touch or have caved to the request of a resume, many times, before the commitment of an interview. I also have to use that new fangled technology called email. More times then not I get “email me the resume.” What’s with this new mind set and use of technology anyway?
I find over the years that hiring managers seem to have become busier, more difficult to reach and many are newer hiring managers with different mind sets of managers from the past. Their companies have developed recruiting departments that support their hiring needs and hiring managers can now and many times prefer to be hands off on the hiring process. To them it has become somewhat automated. We now, more often than not, end up dealing with HR. Not necessarily a bad thing, just more likely to deal with the “send me the resume” issue.
This has impacted relationships with long standing clients where relationships are strong and with new clients when developing relationships. They receive many unsolicited recruiter calls that cause them to become more impersonal, prefer not to talk and with caller ID are more likely to not take your call. They almost prefer to not be bothered by their or “another recruiter” and voice mail will likely take the call. Having a close relationship with hiring managers where they take your calls, or return your messages, and give you the time to get what you need from them is becoming a thing of the past.
So, in today’s recruiting environment, where in many cases I would say we have more limited relationships with hiring managers than we had in the past, what is a good recruiter to do? We do want give the best presentation possible for our candidates, get some good positive attention and secure an interview.
Well, the process that works best for me is I interview every candidate I present to a client, no exception. I need to know they are qualified for the position and if I don’t know my candidate I can not expect to do an excellent presentation of them to the hiring manager. I always check to see where the candidate has applied and/or sent their resume to avoid duplication and embarrassment (sometimes “stuff” happens though). All candidates know where their resume is going. The only exception is “cart blanche” candidates where I am marketing them. On “cart blanche” candidates they find out after the fact because if I am talking with a hiring manager and they want to see the presentation I want to strike while the iron is hot.
The career summary I develop is page one of the presentation (usually only needs to be one page) with the resume being the following pages. That summary is what I call the recruiter cover letter to the resume. The career summary typically has the following content (can have some change ups and variations based on circumstances):
Why the candidate is looking: It is not an objective, just fact, direct and to the point.
An overview of their relevant scope of experience, skills and accomplishments: I set this up in bullet format for an easier and quicker read. I also want to draw the hiring manager in quickly so they do not get bored and lose interest. It looks better too.
Strengths: I make sure they are their functional strengths and relevant (not something like team player or work ethic, which I get a lot).
What is their greatest accomplishment: Relevant being best and getting the most attention.
I like to know and add what their past managers would say are their greatest attributes: This is not a reference; just what they think would be said about them.
Availability: I want the client to know availability to interview and when the candidate can start.
I reformat, not change content, of the resume to match the summary (bulleting, dressing up, etc) and when they are merged, walla, I have my candidate presentation.
This does not take much time, speaks of the candidate’s qualification for the position and assures the hiring manager you know your candidate. And, if you are good and conscientious, you are not just throwing paper around.
So, the career summary is developed to support the candidate’s experience, skill set, accomplishments and addresses relevancy. It is intended to draw the hiring manager into reviewing the resume. The resume is reformatted (dressed up if you will) to compliment the summary. The two merged become the “PRESENTATION”.
Every candidate is presented this way and it works. I have received compliments on this process from hiring managers. Those that have not complimented have definitely not complained or made adverse comment. HR likes it too because the summary is a separate page they can upload as a cover letter into their database. The resume, being stand alone, is an easy and clean upload as well.
When presenting candidates and faced with the “send me the resume” scenario this is how I get hiring managers attention. On the occasions I can not reach a hiring manager where they have me working on a search assignment, I take the liberty to leave a voice message indicating I am emailing them a candidate. When able to verbally present my candidates I can back up the verbal with this written presentation for the hiring manager to use during the interview.
This works for me and is how I go about making my “Candidate Presentation” – That First Impression!