Recruiter read ‘tech writing’ experience as intended, but wrong on client needs

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I recently had three very different chances to interface with recruiters regarding the same possibility with a major Charlotte bank, in this case, for technical writers. While  that’s generically “a club in my bag,” it didn’t get much play until I added a resume on DICE site.

Basic point: Know which sites work best for your skill set and goals.

Two people, who supposedly know how certain skills may fit with work orders, told me Monster and Careerbuilder were places they found most of their placements and possibilities. I’ve never liked those chronologically-oriented sites, and there have been plenty of possibilities on LinkedIn and FlexJobs, including remote options. 

KEYWORDS – BIG DIFFERENCE

It’s worth noting that early searching for ‘Writer’ roles on LinkedIn often produced more Underwriter and Service writer possibilities than creative positions. Putting ‘content creation’ in the keyword box, that went from barely a handful to nearly 100, and often included marketing and editorial managers. Knowing more than one way to look for things is a legitimate piece of any search effort.

Non-negotiable factors like moving still allow frequent opportunities to contribute from a laptop – good content can be created any time or place.

This up close and personal situation reinforced operational negatives I’ve held for a long time about recruiters, but also led to an affirmation of  opinions about whether current “talent gaps” could be mitigated if finders of people for positions did a better job of interviewing.

In two of these calls, I admit first contact appointment-getters – with fairly heavy, difficult to understand accents – were a consideration. Repeatedly asking them to slow down, and yes, thinking scams often flourish with confusion, I was on guard. There are dialer-operations that turn over leads that fill client schedules, and we’re all aware that “others” are constantly phishing for data.

I fixed my attitude about totally different groups of people contacting me – because “I saw your resume…” isn’t actually out of the blue, I am out there – just in time.

Key in recruiters getting what they need

One caller was totally in left field, because he was trying to work with an online resume from 2015 (Careerbuilder). Trying to steer him to more current information like LinkedIn seemed futile. Trying to explain a 2015 post-Recession in retail resume, which  represented nothing  I was trying to accomplish in 2019 – just, no. Thinking I could turn that option into even a 3-month contract wasn’t a reality.

I admit being less nice to him, but fixing my attitude about different groups of people contacting me out of the blue with “I saw your resume…” came through just in time. 

Talking with Recruiter #2, the ‘take over’ local (Charlotte) person I’d scheduled a call with left me far far less confident about success compared to the CBD company I connected with through LinkedIn right after New Years. Maybe he was describing a totally different job – I found out a month later he was actually right on about a situation that sounded far above my comfort level regarding previous technical expertise.

There’s a definite difference in needing-to-be-done-a-certain-way design for multiple layers of starting from scratch tech writing vs. compilation and interpretation of content and “editorial values.”

Recruiter #3 was Goldilocks – just right – a pro out of Philly who interpreted my resume exactly the way I wrote it, and expect it to be read.

#3 had a WHOLE different POV on my matching the client’s  web/content management needs, not what I seemed to lack with #2. Don’t burn bridges with recruiters. Having an above average and realistic interview is still the goal of responding to online-available descriptions. 

He indicated there would be a training period, so that contract people were trained in Open Text, and picking up something on gigs becomes career enhancing expertise for content people. I haven’t been intimidated about using systems listed in job descriptions, and glad to know about up front training, which is nothing but good business.

Recruiter Guy #3 was prepared

He’d seen my LinkedIn profile, knew about my real estate, and made a suggestion about amping the job titles regarding tech writing for two specific jobs. He liked the continuity of  ‘2000 to Current’ – and frankly, side hustle business doesn’t have to pay all the bills to go on your CV.  When its relevant, make sure its known. You’ll rarely get asked about things people don’t know are possibilities.

  • Customer ordering and return procedures, written for “guys in the pits” v. front office personnel, regarding industrial laundry equipment.
  • Editing and formatting of 65 page Monthly Management Report – from 17 contributors.
  • After Hours Care ‘cheat sheet’ of weekend staff procedures

CDTalent Enterprises has produced in a variety of situations that create editorial depth.

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This is an upgraded kronut by Sugarrmann, with an extra blob of flavorful lemon under the glazing, after I reviewed a previous version’s tastefulness.  I’m not a coder.

I appreciated speaking 40 minutes vs. ten – If you’ve gotten jaded hearing about recruiters and eight seconds checking a resume, getting to phone calls is actually the goal. You don’t WIN! because someone responded, and IMHO, getting the right kind of help by better communicating your expertise is its own reward.

As a gig, we’ll see about phone interviews next week, but part of my work system is to keep the professional options hopper productive. While its proof nothing goes away on the Internet AND what it can deliver as results, I’m elementally glad my opinions about how much better recruiters could do with interviewing turned out to be right.

Content creation, client needs are close to dating – better info turns into ‘righter’ decisions

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Typical selfie in bathroom mirror doesn’t move the needle much.

Certainly, online dating and sending RFP-level material to potential clients is a legitimate analogy. Wanting a good professional or emotional connection, one that satisfies a recognized need, works best when everyone is honestly trying on the information front.

Three specific examples of “finding the other”  involves a high, low, and medium set of informational points, and how it affects the successful matching up of elements desired by both parties.

On the low end would be a personal ad lacking any imagination or effort – one picture (the bathroom selfie), minimal written, or “If you want to know more, ask” slackery. That’s an unsatisfying combination from among hundreds of other possibilities, and its headed for the Out Bin almost as a reflex, right?

Content creation types understand that every CV or cover letter sent involves a judgment of our writing skills.

On a lovely, cool Monday morning, I declare that The Super High end of information is represented by 2 1/2 pages of printed who, what, why, how? relative to one recent company’s Content Marketing position. A statement of their corporate positioning, an introduction to expectations of a new team member, responsibilities, necessary skill set, personal qualities (hmmm…humility?), and finished up with bullet points about extras in the compensation situation you’d probably want to know about.

Almost without question – whether pursuing dates or a potential client – you’d invest more effort in something A-B-C, 1-2-3 clear about extra details to start. From the content creator side, responding to that well-defined description with an equally well-defined reason to investigate further is fundamentally right.

The best kind of middle ground is a ‘date’ that shows up as a 100% as advertised stud or stud-ette.  Great attitude, desired attributes sharp and obvious, articulate enough during the meet-greet time over coffee or a cold beverage raising expectations of a possible match. If all is in tune a couple hours later – post-concert and a snack perhaps – its much easier to discuss what Next might look like.

What needs to be done when the bell is rung

Many of us like to think we’re the middle group professionally, that it’s just a matter of getting in front of a decision maker. Perhaps we lack an attribute or two software-wise,  or depth of expertise required, but if there’s not an organic height requirement, face-to-face will win the day.

Uhh-huh.

That would be amazingly naive of the one picture profile to think, and just as unproductive for a content creator candidate to ignore the relative clues in a well-written description of  how to impress that ‘date’ appropriately. 

That Super High end information provider is a remote location possibility vs. office situation, as definite a positive as a bright smile from across the room. The role responsibilities call for a versatile style across several channels (bingo!), engaging with subject matter experts (sales career and all previous freelance writing featured interviewing as a strength), and some esoteric pieces, like “the gumption to wrestle with a problem until a thought-through solution is achieved,” and “…abiding love for processing a lot of input, (then) fishing out the interesting and relevant bits.”

That meeting Saturday’s date provided immediate, verifiable intell regarding an All That candidate doesn’t happen often. She was interesting, attractive, way better than just fit, a look-you-in-the-eye type with a compelling story about spirituality (including tarot, the hook in my books) that kept conversation flowing. And OMG! who wanted to go ‘dutch’ from the get-go.

Having seen the up-close reality of the option, it would be terrific if there was more to discuss in the near future. Hold onto that thought, because that meeting of the minds included almost two weeks of texting, and both of us had multiple pictures and profile writing.  Elementally, the dating system worked, and leaving out that information makes it sound like luck.

Never let it be thought you only did the least that could be done. Quality communications don’t need to be all-revealing bikini shots of one’s career, just promote the belief that we as responders might be that terrific person you’ll want to discuss a future relationship with. All positive responses constitute a successful ‘first date’ for a content creation person.

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Glenn Shorkey – Creative eDitorial Talents Enterprises 
(704)502-9947