Welcome back! Or, if you’re new, welcome (hold the back.) In the previous article of the series, I talked about the lion: mentors. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go take a look! This time, I’m taking you through the jungle to learn about the tiger: recruiters. Recruiters appear to be solitary, focusing only on capturing the perfect person for the job, much like how tigers weave between the trees searching for their next meal. Both can sound intimidating, but in reality, recruiters are part of a large team of people whose sole purpose is to promote your success.
Recruiters are people who are hired by a specific company or organization whose job is to help you find yours, and their salary is often dependent on their success rate. They look through websites such as LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media networks in search of people who possess the personal and occupational characteristics that match the company and the positions they are looking to fill.
Recruiters are also a form of a salesperson, as they are trying to convince you that the company is where you belong while also telling the company that you are the one they want for the job. They do more, however, than just connect you to companies. Recruiters are connected to each other across industries and can become a phenomenal relationship that can significantly broaden your network.
Now that we have gotten to know the mysterious tigers that are recruiters, here are some tips on navigating a jungle full of them.
Remember, your success = their success, and since they have a vast knowledge of the company and what they are looking for, they can and will help you meet those requirements. Recruiters can assist with preparing for interviews, revising resumes and cover letters, negotiating salaries, and even acting as an advisor. If you end up not getting the initial job, recruiters are useful sources for future opportunities, but like the solitary tiger, you never want to crowd their space.
We all know how anxiety-inducing it is to wait for a response that might alter the course of your life (those college acceptance letters, right?). Unfortunately, two to three weeks of silence from a recruiter is normal, but reaching out every week or every other week to check in and see what’s going on is acceptable and even recommended. If you do not end up getting the job you applied for, reaching out to a recruiter every month or so to ask about interview opportunities or job availability demonstrates persistence and determination without overwhelming their inboxes. It’s even alright to reach out to a recruiter that you haven’t worked with to ask about opportunities or advice. You may be the one they’ve been looking for.
During several virtual recruiter roundtables held by Rise Up Animation, recruiters from Disney, Pixar, and other large production companies provided advice for those hoping to break into the industry. Here are some of the most frequently mentioned pieces of advice from professional recruiters!
Update your LinkedIn and portfolio as much as possible. If you have conversed with a certain recruiter or interviewed with a company before and received feedback on your work, make sure you apply it before reaching out again. Recruiters and employers love to see feedback in action.
Recruiters utilize social media to find potential candidates as well, so it will be helpful to add relevant tags to your work. #visualdevelopment #characterdevelopment and #creatingwhileBlack were three tags mentioned at the virtual Dreamworks Recruiter Roundtable this past summer. Employees show recruiters work they like, so it is important to follow both creators within the company and the recruiters. You never know who’s scrolling through the tags. Include your contact information in your bio for anyone who may want to reach out!
If your portfolio requires a password to access it, make sure it is easily accessible for recruiters when you send in your portfolio. If a recruiter cannot easily find the password to your portfolio, they will just move on. It also helps to link your portfolio to your resume and include your password on your resume, too, so recruiters will only have to look in one place for everything they need.
This may seem like a “duh, I know that” point, but recruiters have thousands of portfolios and resumes and cover letters to look through. They do not want to see candidates imitating the work of other artists; they already exist. They want to see what you do. When they look at your work, you want them to see something that screams your personality and shows them something they will remember.
I hope this brings some clarity to the often talked about but hidden world of recruitment. Keep an eye out for my next and final article in this series, where I will be sharing tips and information regarding the bear: interviewers!