After spending 11 plus years in the recruiting business, I’ve learned that the majority of corporate and consulting jobs have to go through a recruiter.

So whether you like it or not, the recruiter who advertises and/or manages the job you are applying for is the gatekeeper to the hiring manager.

I wrote a blog earlier this year that resulted in a number of job seekers using its content to be more successful in their dealings with recruiters.  It was entitled, ” 12 Sure Fire Ways To A Recruiter’s Heart “.

Regardless of how you find out about a job opening, whether it’s from your network, a job board, or word of mouth. You have to find a way to give the recruiter a reason to move forward with you.  In the beginning, your resume and its delivery is the first step.  If your resume does not give the recruiter a reason to believe you are right for the job, a return call or e-mail is not likely to occur (unless you are a personal referral of one of his/her colleagues, family, or close friends).  In addition, if you are interested in working for said company, applying over and over for positions that you know you are not qualified for will inevitably drive a wedge between you and your opportunity to ever get your resume in the hands of the hiring manager.

For example, I have received the same resume from a certain individual 4 times for roles that I’ve already explained orally are not a good fit for the background of the individual.  This person continues to send e-mails and resumes that are no different than the ones previously sent, with the same cover letters, and are no more a fit today than they were the last time.  If you think you are a fit for the posted position, send something that conveyds that message.  Is it a pain to have to rewrite your resume in order to appeal to each recruiter for each role you apply for?  It certainly is, however that might be the difference between a response and a deposit into the proverbial resume black hole.

If you think that recruiting teams don’t talk about extreme cases when it comes to candidates, you are sadly mistaken.  Don’t be the person who stands out negatively because it’s hard to change the perception of a recruiter and his/her team after you’ve annoyed them.

Here is a great example of someone who made a positive impression on me from the beginning. When I spoke to him initially, I knew he was not a fit for a role I had, however he is potentially a candidate for a future opportunity which is coming in 2011. The reason I wanted to speak to him was the way he presented himself in his message he sent me via LinkedIn.  It was direct, polite, and to the point.  It read like this…

Good Afternoon Steve,

I read your posting on LinkedIn regarding your current need for a Director of East Coast Operations.

I have been in restaurant operations for the past 21 years and believe that my most recent experience with XYZ company makes me a viable candidate for this position.

Per your request, I have applied on line and would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this position with you further at your convenience.

I can best be reached at 555-555-5555 or via e-mail at jobseeker@jobseeker.com

Thank You for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Joe Jobseeker

If you are a good fit for a position or feel you are a potential asset to a company, find a way to convince the recruiter that they should speak to you. If we in the recruiter community get this impression and believe that we’ll be missing out if we pass on you, that’s your goal.

2011 is looking like it will be a better year for you to find your next job, so remember that delivery to the recruiter is the key to getting your foot in the door.