We all know this person. That friend, colleague, or family member who seems to get hit up by recruiters for really cool jobs every other month or so—without so much as trying.
Seriously, what is up with that? How is this person pulling it off? (And, is it OK to secretly hate him just a tiny bit?)
While there’s no magic formula when it comes to consistently attracting amazing opportunities, there are several things that those who are regularly sought after are doing right, consistently.
Here are the top five:
1. They’re keeping their networks fresh
Don’t you love it when that former co-worker who you haven’t heard a peep from in six years hits you up for an introduction to your boss’ boss? Yes, we all love that. It’s super enjoyable to feel like people only come to you when they need something.
Even if you’re inclined to help that person (because you’re that nice), many people aren’t going to so much as lift a finger when they feel like they’re being used.
People who get recruited don’t operate like this. They know the importance of staying connected with people of influence in their professions, and outside of their professions. They know that it doesn’t take tons of effort to stay top-of-mind (um, hello, LinkedIn), and they know that staying top of mind is a surefire way for people to think of you when something cool comes along at their organizations.
2. They’ve kept their skills fresh
Speaking of fresh, your pals who are getting recruited with frequency are also likely keeping their skills fresh. They’re not going to get on a call with a recruiter and say, “Digital marketing? Um, no. I haven’t really had an opportunity to do that as a marketer yet.” (Whaaaaat?)
Instead—and this is even if they don’t have to apply the skills in their current jobs—they’re proactively assessing the demands of their industry and taking steps to stay current. It astounds me that, with all of the free and low-cost online tutorials and courses available today, some professionals act like it’s their employers’ responsibility to train them and keep them up-to-date.
That’s not their job. It’s yours. And if you want to be among the “in demand” category, you’ll take radical responsibility for keeping yourself marketable.
3. They’ve made themselves easy to find
The people who are frequently getting “discovered” are also not hidden under a rock or deliberately avoiding having any sort of digital footprint. No, ma’am. They are positioning themselves thoughtfully and strategically online.
Clearly, LinkedIn’s your lowest hanging fruit when it comes to being “recruiter findable.” And, by this, I don’t simply mean “Have a profile.” I mean “Have a profile that aligns—in bothkeywords and messaging—to the kinds of jobs you’d want to land next.”
Outside of LinkedIn, you’ve got all kinds of outlets that will enable you to position yourself as a thought leader and help recruiters discover you—Twitter, Instagram, Quora, to name a few. Find the one(s) that you’re most comfortable with—and are most used in your industry—and make your presence (thoughtfully) known.
4. Their resumes are “at the ready”
Remember that one time you heard about an amazing, life-changing job opportunity—and you didn’t have a resume ready to share? Yes, precisely. This happens to people all the time. They’re just bee-bopping along feeling “happy enough” when, vavoom. Something incredible crops up.
What usually happens in this instance? I’ll tell you what. You let that amazing thing pass right on by, because you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of updating it fast enough to take a run at it.
People who get recruited are always ready. They keep their resumes current for just such an occasion, and they’re ready to mobilize fast. Have this be you.
5. They don’t act like they need the job
You’ve heard the term “Recruiters can smell desperation.” It stinks, because when you need a job, you one million percent want recruiters to give you more notice than the bozo who completely doesn’t need a new position.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t usually work this way—and this is coming from a recruiter with a heart as big as Texas and a genuine love of the underdog.
When you begin acting nervous or sketchy (e.g., calling them again and again and again when you haven’t gotten an update in two days), you give off a vibe that’s not one of confidence—it’s one of panic or neediness. And, just like in the world of dating, panic and neediness are simply not very attractive to suitors.
Your pals who constantly get “Are you interested” emails know this. They even know it when they actually do need a job. When they get that message, they respond with interest, but not with need. They respond with proactivity, but not in a way that’s disrespectful to the recruiter’s time, or plain weird.
I know this isn’t a natural reaction when you’re growing weary from the hunt, or nervous about running out of money (if you’re unemployed), but if you want to be among the “sought after,” you simply must “act as if” through the recruitment process.
You’ve got so much to offer, even if you sometimes forget this. So why not position yourself in a way that makes it easy for those with hiring influence to see?
Pull out the stops to be connected and in demand.
And never stop helping those jerks who only come around when they need something (because, most often, they’re really not jerks at all).