With improving economy, it's vital for job applicants to check their egos at
the door

Leading recruiter offers tips for nailing down that dream job as corporations step up hiring after lean years

TORONTO, April 29 /CNW/ - As the economy improves and more and more jobs begin to get filled, it is more important than ever for job applicants to listen and learn through the interviewing process.

"Job seekers have had lean years and very little movement on the jobs front, including at the higher levels," says Jay Rosenzweig, managing partner of Rosenzweig & Company, a leading North American recruitment firm.

"Some people who've survived the recession with their job intact may think they hold all the cards if a company or recruiter calls. But now, more than ever, the best advice is to check your ego at the door and understand the 'buy and sell' process when presented with dream job opportunities. One of the most fundamental rules in this business is to know when to talk and know when to listen. In first-round job interviews, employers are looking for suitability and compatibility.

"It's been a long while since many people have been in these interviewing situations making it even more important than ever to have a firm grasp of the process well before the interview begins," Mr. Rosenzweig adds.

Here are some key points that people should keep in mind when they get recruited for a job opportunity:

THE HEADHUNTER WORKS FOR THE EMPLOYER, BUT CAN ALSO BE YOUR FRIEND: While recruiters cannot coach candidates, they can provide general advice and help. Use the recruiter as a sounding board. Allow the recruiter to act as an intermediary between you and the client. You can approach recruiters with issues, comments or concerns prior to speaking to the client.

RETAINER V. CONTINGENCY: Ask recruiters whether they have been retained for the project. While some contingency recruiters are motivated by achieving a mutually beneficial result, others are simply interested in making a placement and receiving commission contingent upon closure. In other words, they could push you toward a job that is wrong for you. Retainer-based recruiters tend to be less focused on short-term financial gain because they receive payment regardless.

SELL YOURSELF: While overstating your accomplishments can backfire, it is also important to promote your skills and experience. When working with recruiters, help them present a positive representation of your candidacy. Provide your greatest achievements and outline your career trajectory so they can present that to their client.

BE YOURSELF: Recruiters and their clients can see through insincerity. Don't try to adapt your background or personality to a specific role.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Once you have begun your initial discussions with the recruiter, begin researching the respective company. Learn about recent financial and operational developments, but don't expect to become an instant expert on the organization. Know enough to speak on a conceptual level without being too presumptuous.

TRY TO RELAX: While preparing and doing homework is good, don't try to memorize answers to anticipated questions and don't appear over-anxious or too eager. Finalist candidates can lose out because their eagerness can be interpreted as desperation.

BE HONEST ABOUT ANY OTHER OPPORTUNITIES YOU ARE CONSIDERING: Both a recruiter and potential employer will understand if you have other options and may even work around your situation. But nobody likes to be blindsided, and it could come back to haunt you.

COME CLEAN: Acknowledge any potential past issues, problems or indiscretions that could affect your future employer. Use the recruiter as a buffer, but be honest. Rather than taking a chance that it will not surface, remember that it is a small community and you would be respected more for volunteering the information rather than trying to conceal it.

ACCEPT CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM: Again, don't let your ego get in the way. When a recruiter or client provides constructive criticism, even in the context of turning your candidacy down, don't get defensive and combat the feedback. Use it to your advantage; if not for this opportunity, then for the next.

SOURCE ROSENZWEIG & COMPANY

For further information: For further information: (www.rosenzweigco.com) or to arrange a media interview: Bob Brehl, abc2 communications, (416) 994-1470, bob@abc2.ca

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