Aspiring to ECEC senior leadership? Top recruiter offers tips on standing out
Richard Tiggs is one of Australia’s leading senior leader recruiters and career coaches, and is the author of Uncover the Hidden Job Market: How to Find and Win Your Next Senior Executive Role.
In the piece below, adapted from information which first appeared on the Fast Company website, he offers a number of ‘dos and don’ts’ gathered from his experience of recruiting in excess of 1,000 senior leaders and coaching 2,500 job seekers, which The Sector has contextualised to early childhood education and care (ECEC).
Make a personal connection
Mr Tiggs first tip is to build a personal connection with any recruitment professional who is advertising a role you are interested in.
Why? Because typically, he says, if a recruiter has one role which is of interest to you, they are likely to have more in the future.
The executive roles he generally recruits for will often attract 200 applications, of which he will typically shortlist 10. Of the 190 who were not shortlisted, he explained, he will usually only hear from one person to ask for feedback about why their application was unsuccessful.
“Why would you not want to have a relationship with me, so that you may get preferential consideration in the future? How do you impress me, if you don’t even speak to me?” he asks.
His advice is twofold.
Always contact the recruiter prior to submitting an application to ask specific, relevant questions to demonstrate you have read their advertisement.
Avoid asking obvious questions like, “What can you tell me about the role?” and use the time to build a rapport and learn more about how to enhance your application.
Tailor your pitch
When applying for positions, Mr Tiggs continued, make sure that your resume contains relevant information contextualised to the role at hand.
“Show the recruiter why you are awesome and deserve their attention,” he said.
In the age of digital communication, he said, cover letters are becoming redundant, and should only be included if they are specifically requested.
In the event that you’re unsuccessful in being shortlisted, he continued, following up and asking for feedback is good. Even better, asking them to meet for a coffee can be a small investment which yields big returns in relationship building.
Be patient, follow the process
Recruiters are busy people, often juggling multiple temporary and permanent commitments which have competing deadlines.
Mr Tiggs recommends waiting five days after sending in an application to see if you have been shortlisted, and to follow up on any conversations (verbal or written) because they are all opportunities to leave a good impression.
Should you be successful in being offered an interview, follow the usual protocol including being on time, being well prepared, and dressing smartly. If this interview is with the prospective employer, it’s best practice to follow up with the recruiter and let them know how the interview went.
It is the recruiters role to handle any salary negotiation, and to obtain the best outcome for both parties.
Show your appreciation
If you are successful in gaining a role, he continued, it’s always appreciated by the recruiter to acknowledge their time, effort and energy.
This could be by providing feedback to their leader, by sending a thank you card or email, or perhaps with a small gift.
Maintaining a relationship with the recruiter, even after obtaining a role, is a good idea. Situations change, and you may need the support of that recruiter again in the future – or you may use their services to find people to support you in your new role.
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