PRSA Portland Metro Chapter

A Corporate Recruiter’s Guide to Landing a Job

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Mar 13

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by Mac Prichard

Melissa Anzman, founder of the “Loosen Your White Collar” blog, knows how corporate recruiters work because she was one. A self-described “former human resources drone,” Anzman pulls the curtain back on the corporate recruiting world in her book, “How to Land a Job: Secrets of an HR Insider.”

Anzman has interviewed countless candidates for corporate jobs. Common frustrations she hears about seeking work with big companies include receiving no response to online applications, making it through several interviews without an offer, and being told you’re not a fit for your dream job.

How can someone who is set on joining Nike, Intel, or another large employer navigate the corporate recruitment maze? Anzman offers a “land a job” framework that shows how to compete with other candidates, leverage social media, and communicate with a human resources office.

Here are four of Anzman’s top job-hunting tips for working with corporate recruiters:

Know What You Want

“You need to be very clear about the type of job you are seeking,” says Anzman. “Nothing is more dreaded to a recruiter than a candidate trying to win the all-around award in Generalism.”

Like it or not, Anzman warns, corporate recruiters “label, pigeon-hole and identify each candidate before getting to know them.”

So what’s an applicant to do? Be clear about your specialty, advises Anzman. Show that your skills and experience match what a company wants.

Put Your Social Media House in Order

Before a corporate recruiter schedules your first phone interview, warns Anzman, they will Google you. So make sure your online profile is in order, especially your LinkedIn page.

Check for embarrassing online material, too. Steps to manage content you don’t want others to see include detagging photos on Facebook and requesting link removals from website managers or Google.

Create a Resume That Sells

“Your resume should be screaming ‘choose me, don’t pass up an offer this good’ to every recruiter that sees it,” says Anzman. “Landing a job is the process of selling yourself and your resume is what gets your phone call answered and sets you up to close the deal.”

Anzman says sales professionals write the best resumes. She thinks this is because sales jobs require setting and measuring concrete goals and people who do this know what they want and how to talk about their accomplishments.

Get in the Game

Your dream job won’t come to you. You have to go out there and find it and this takes work, lots of work. Anzman recommends spending up to two hours a day on a search. If you put in the time, she says, “You will start getting calls.”

Beware of common excuses for doing nothing. These include fretting that an application won’t be taken seriously, a resume isn’t up to par, or a position isn’t a perfect fit. Stop stalling, says Anzman, fix your resume and “throw your hat in the ring.”

Besides these tips, Anzman’s book includes much good information about specific corporate hiring practices, such as Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) for screening resumes. She also provides a very useful set of action checklists.

While Anzman’s experience as a corporate recruiter shapes much of the advice in “How to Land a Job: Secrets of an HR Insider,” this books offers insightful and practical help that will interest any job hunter.

This is the latest in a series of reviews on the “Mac’s List” blog of books about careers and job-hunting. Here are the earlier reviews:

1. “Forget Job Security: Build Your Marketability” by Dawn Rasmussen.

2. “Great Jobs for Everyone 50+” by Kerry Hannon.

3. “How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager” by Alison Green.

Have a job-hunting book you recommend I review? Send me an email at mac@prichardcommunications.com.

Mac Prichard is president of Prichard Communications, a Portland-based public relations firm, and publisher of Mac’s List, an online job site for jobs, internships, events, and volunteer opportunities in Oregon.

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