I’ll Call You! How To Get A Recruiter To Call You Back

How many of us have heard these famous last words at the end of a not-so-successful date? They remind me of Charlie Sheen’s character on Two And A Half Men. “I’ll Call You” was Charlie’s escape hatch which allowed him to quickly part company with his lady friends without a big confrontation. It was never genuine. Rather flip and dismissive. Which is why Job Seekers recoil when they hear the same words from a Professional Recruiter: “I’ll Call You.”

I understand the temptation to lump Recruiters in with the Charlie Sheens’ of the world. After all, today’s society has been conditioned to understand “I’ll Call You” to be the ultimate blow off. However, I can assure you, and the rest of today’s Job Seekers, that when we Recruiters say “I’ll Call You” we actually mean it! It may not be the next day or next week. But if your work history is strong, and your skill set relevant to our niche, we will eventually call you.

Most professional recruiters, like me, are driven by our clients’ immediate needs...critical positions which need to be filled ASAP by candidates who meet a very specific set of criteria. This explains why a highly-qualified Accountant will hear “I’ll Call You” when the Recruiter is working on filling Sales positions. Or why an accomplished Engineer will hear “I’ll Call You” when the Recruiter is handling several Chef openings. Or why the recent college grad will hear “I’ll Call You” when the Recruiter is seeking out CEO candidates. It doesn’t mean the Accountant’s or Engineer’s or College Graduate’s resumes were awful and that they “never find a job in this town again.” It simply boils down to timing.

I’ll admit we Recruiters see thousands of resumes a month. Even if we say “I’ll call you,” how do you, the Job Seeker, know that we won’t forget you three months from now? I’ve been asked by Job Seekers before:”Can I call you every week to stay in touch?” It’s a nice idea, really. But if I honored this request by the several hundred prospective candidates I’ve been in contact just in the last month, then you will legitimately be able to compare me to Charlie... *after* he lost his mind!

If you, the Job Seeker, wish to stay on a Recruiter’s radar for future opportunities, then you will benefit the most by supplying the following:

• an updated copy of your resume
• accurate salary history
• reasonable salary expectations
• markets for relocation
• list of tangible, measurable accomplishments
• aspirations for your next position
• three professional references
• an active cell number
• and a viable email address

A good Recruiter will enter every tidbit of this information into a profile he/she has created for you in their keyword-optimized database or tracking system. Between your resume and the above bullets, you have armed the Recruiter with the information needed to match you to upcoming positions. And when the right position matches up...then the magic happens. And unlike Charlie Sheen...the Recruiter actually calls! It may be in two weeks...two months...or two years. But the Recruiter calls.

Please don’t misunderstand. I do not mean that you, the Job Seeker, should completely drop out of sight after the initial phone screen with your Recruiter. I’ll confess that occasionally well-timed calls from active Job Seekers who want to update me on a new accomplishment or a changed email address, have been followed up with my query “By the way, may I run a new opportunity past you?” So in the end, the best way to treat “I’ll Call You” from a Recruiter is to view it as the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (Giving props to Bogey.) Not the dismissive end of a brief encounter. (Ala Charlie Sheen.) Your Recruiter likely wants to help. It’s just he/she may not be able to do so right now. But when that perfect project does come along with criteria that matches your background & skill set, then both you and the Recruiter will be...Winning!


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