This past week while working on a variety of openings, I began to think about the simple things candidates could do that would make connecting with them a lot easier.  The more I think about it,the more I realize that these are actually things that candidates can do to be found more easily. These are also things that will make you more appealing through the recruiting process.  Let me know if you have any other ideas I missed because we’re all in this together.

1) If you are on LinkedIn, update your status to read that you are looking for your next (fill the type of job you are looking for) position.

2) If you are on LinkedIn and are looking for work or would like to start seeing what might be out there, make it easy for people who are not connected to you first line to get in touch with you.  You can do this by putting your e-mail address and/or your phone number in your contact information which will appear at the bottom of the page.

3) If you are on Facebook, update your profile to note that you are looking for your next job or something like that.

4) If you are on LinkedIn and/or Facebook, having a current picture on those sites will aid recruiters in a number of ways. Whenever I find someone on LinkedIn who I’m not connected to 1st line and don’t have a way to connect through a group or by paid inmail,  I will search for them on Facebook. I do this because when I find them (and I have), I can send them a message and there is no cost and most likely they will get it quicker because most people check their Facebook more often than LinkedIn.

5) When you speak to a recruiter in regards to a position you are interested in, be prepared to update your resume and prepare a summary to highlight the skills that are most important to the job you are being considered for.

6) Be up front about clients you are already submitted to, been in conversation with, worked at before, or choose not to be presented to. It saves a lot of time and energy for both the recruiter and the candidate.

7) When returning a call or e-mail to a recruiter, let them know the best time and way to reach you.  In today’s market, timing is everything. If a recruiter cannot reach you in a reasonable amount of time, odds are you will be overlooked for a more readily available candidate.
8) Join Twitter, even if you don’t plan to tweet often.  Starting every day with a tweet that says you are looking for (fill in your job title) your next job and your location will be another way to be found.  More and more recruiters and search professionals are using all 3 of the previously mentioned social media sites to recruit as it appears they can find more candidates that way.

9) Always be up front about your availability. There is nothing worse than going through all of the steps to qualify a candidate, to only have them inform you that they are not available for a month.

10) Inform the recruiter what else you have in your pipeline. That should include offers and interviews at least. Once again, timing is everything in our industry and full disclosure isn’t far behind.

11) Have references readily available, and let them know that they should expect a call from said recruiter. Also, inform the recruiter of the best way to communicate with that reference and best time to reach them if possible.  If it takes 3 or 4 days to reach you references, you would hate to be the top candidate and bring the process to a screeching halt because they can’t contact them. Also, more and more reference requirements can be accomplished by way of a recommendation on LinkedIn.

12) Share with them what attracts you to working with their organization whether it be in a full-time or consulting capacity. If a recruiter knows what excites you, they can do a better job of representing you.

In most cases, the recruiter holds the key to the door of your next opportunity.  If you treat them well, it has the potential to be a meaningful business relationship long into the future.