How to Network with Recruiters

Amanda Sanderson

After graduating from The King’s College with her BA in Media, Culture, and the Arts, Amanda explored several different career paths before joining HeartShare in 2015. After working as a Jr. Recruiter for a period of time, she worked her way up to the role of Sr. Recruiter. She is currently in charge of recruitment for HeartShare Wellness, HeartShare Education, and HeartShare St. Vincent’s, allowing her to recruit for many different types of roles such as Special Education Teachers, Social Workers, and Mental Health Therapists.

You walk into the room and you see them. They’re at the table and it’s the person you’ve been waiting to meet. You walk up to the table and say, “Hello, I’m so-and-so,” and from there, fingers crossed, things go well and you find yourself employed in your dream job. Networking with recruiters is a smart move for any job seeker. Recruiters tend to be the first person potential candidates interact with, so if you can develop a good connection with a recruiter, you can be one step closer to the end goal—obtaining a job. So how do you make a memorable first impression? Here are some pointers for networking with recruiters:

1.DO YOUR HOMEWORK

One of the best places to meet recruiters is at a job fair. These events provide a hyper-focused environment for candidates to meet with recruiters and get that initial face-to-face interaction. The best interactions usually begin with a possible candidate telling me they read about HeartShare and they saw a few positions that caught their eye. However, those interactions are few and far between, and a more common interaction is a, “Hello,” followed by, “So what does HeartShare do?” Which is then followed by, “What jobs are available?” These questions take away from me as a recruiter learning about YOU, and why I should remember you over all the other candidates I meet with.

2. BE SPECIFIC

So you met the recruiter and now it’s time to apply for a job. Far too frequently I receive an email with no context, just a resume. Please, if you send a resume take the time to look at a company’s careers page and include in your email the position you want to be considered for. The more specific you are, the more help I can offer. Remember, recruiters are not synonymous with job coaches or career advisors.

3. FOLLOW-UP…BUT DON’T OVERDO IT

After you establish a connection with a recruiter and apply for a job, maintaining contact is important (emails are always preferred). Please note: There is a fine line between following-up and badgering. For example, if a recruiter sends your resume to a hiring manager, following-up with them if you have not heard anything after a week or two is good. However, calling a recruiter daily asking for updates or bombarding them with emails is crossing the line. Often, the hiring process takes some time, so patience is important. If you end up not getting the job, make sure you thank the recruiter, and feel free to check back in with them periodically.

At the end of the day, networking with a recruiter is kind of like a first date—you want to make a great first impression, but you don’t want to overdo it and scare the person away. The candidates that I tend to remember (in a positive light) are candidates who did their homework, and as a result I was able to build a connection with them and remember what made them a great candidate, they followed-up with me, and occasionally, if I heard of a position I thought would be a good fit for them, I would reach out to them directly. So when you’re looking to network with recruiters remember: research the company and roles that are currently available, and maintain contact, but don’t overdo it, just like a first date.

If you’re interested and in learning more about careers in non-profits like HeartShare, attend the Careers in Advocacy panel.  Speakers include professionals from government health, sanitation social enterprises, human services for people with disabilities, female empowerment education, civil liberties, and more.  RSVP today!