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8 Surefire Ways to Work With Recruiters

1. The role of a recruiter is to fill a position his clients is hired him to fill.

A recruiter is paid by the clients and not by the candidates. His purpose is to find the qualified candidates to fill the open positions. It’s not the recruiter’s responsibility to find you a job. Take the responsibility to drive your job search.

2. Ask friends or colleagues for a list of recommended recruiters, whom they have worked with.

When contacting the recommended recruiters, be sure to mention they are highly recommended (e.g., My colleague, John Thompson, highly recommended you as a recruiter.) You’ll have an instant rapport with them. They will be more likely to help you out with your job search.

3. Seek a recruiter that specializes in your field.

When looking for a recruiter, try to find a recruiter who specializes in your technical field and geographical preference.

4. Work as many recruiters as you can possibly find reputable.

Every recruiter has a different client relationship. Every recruiter has a different job opening. You want to get yourself in front of as many prospective employers as you possibly can.

5. Be communicative.

Return a recruiter’s phone calls or e-mail quickly.

6. Be gently persistent with your recruiters.

Don’t be afraid to follow up. You can follow up via a phone call or an e-mail. Be sure to leave a voice mail if they are unavailable.

7. Build relationships with your recruiters.

When your recruiters are looking for people for jobs, you may not be interested or not the right candidate for these positions. Help them. Refer colleagues and friends to them.

8. Be clear with what you really want for your next job.

You don’t need to submit your resume to every position that a recruiter has presented you. Only you know what the just right job for you. You have a choice to say you’re not interested to get your resume submitted for a particular position.

10 Tips to Ace a Skype Job Interview

1. Be prepared for your Skype job interview.

Prepare your Skype job interview as you would approach an in-person interview. Practice and rehearse interview questions ahead of time. Have a list of questions to ask interviewers.

2. Do a test run on Skype prior the job interview.

Check out the lighting and the background. Do a sound check. Practice to focus on the camera while you speak.

3. Dress as you’re going to a face-to-face interview.

Treat your Skype interview as a face-to-face interview. You want to look professional and sharp on Skype.

4. Make sure your background is clean and neat.

You want the interviewers to focus on you during the interview and not to be distracted by the untidy background. If possible, you may want to consider to have a warm background (e.g., a bookshelf instead a blank wall).

5. Check the lighting.

You want to make sure your face is well-lit.

6. Select a quiet setting.

Let your family and roommates know ahead of time that you cannot be interrupted during your interview. If you have pets, make sure they are not in the room.

7. Turn your cell phone off & turn off applications on your computer.

You want to turn off incoming e-mail and text messages.

8. Watch your camera, not your screen.

You want to establish the eye contact with interviewers. You want to focus on your camera when you talk. It may feel unnatural at first since the tendency is to focus on the screen. You can tape a picture of a friend above the camera to help you focus on the camera.

9. Smile.

10. Be prepared for technical problems.

In the beginning of the interview, agree on if the connection drops, who will call back.

Manage Your ‘Top Three’ Issues or Priorities

“Predominately focus on managing to the most important and urgent issues every day. Your overall effectiveness here has a direct bearing on the success of your project—and your career.”

-Neal Whitten

Recently, a friend asked me how I stay organized with my day-to-day work as a Project Manager (PM) and what tools I use to stay on track with my tasks. He had to temporarily fill a PM role himself recently while his company was in the process of hiring and bringing a new PM on board.

My answer to his question was: it’s not about tools or techniques I use to stay on top of my projects; it’s about always working on top three issues or top three priorities. Inevitably, top three issues or priorities may change throughout the day, the week, or the month. I am constantly evaluating and re-prioritizing my work to respond to top three issues or priorities for that particular day. It serves no purpose to my projects, my project teams, nor my customers, if the most important task today were to get the Statement of Work (SOW) reviewed, finalized, and signed with the vendor. I also want the vendor and project team to absolutely have to agree upon a detailed test plan on the same day. [Note: from a project scheduling perspective, a test plan is finalized prior testing begins.]

The truth is as a PM, at some point, you’ll find yourself with too much work to barely fit it in during a normal business day. My advice is: throughout the day, pause periodically, ask yourself, “Am I working on top three issues or priorities? Is what I am working on right now the best use of my time to help my project teams and my customers today?” If the answer is no, be disciplined, pause whatever task you’re working on, and start working on one of your top three issues or priorities. By always working on top three issues or priorities, you’ll steer your projects to a positive direction.

I encourage everyone to check out Neal’s article.

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