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Translating Your Technical Experience For a Recruiter.

23 Jan 14 by Chris

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A Technical Recruitment title is one of those vague titles that unless you have worked in this space generates a large number of unknowns. What is a Technical Recruiter?

Like all recruitment roles our job is; simply put, ‘to find the strongest person available on the market for our client’. The required skills of this job are more complex and largely involve translating incredibly specific project detail and determining if the skills acquired during this project will be of value in our clients environment, and here is where things get tricky.

A technical recruiter deals with the most complicated product line imaginable – you. Our strengths lie in pitching you into this new work environment, an environment where we have never worked, where the specifics of the project you will be working on are confidential, and the technologies with which you work we understand only from a high level perspective – along with a high level perspective of every other role within our chosen area of expertise.

When working with a technical recruiter, your challenge is to highlight your specialist knowledge and how this can be transferred across the industry in your CV.

We initially screen all candidates for a checklist of skills required to qualify for a closer examination of your experience. This checklist will be detailed in the advertising material which brought you to this recruiter. Advertisements will stipulate things like: Seniority level, leadership experience, industry qualifications, your right to work in NZ, and specific background experience, to indicate that our Client has made this a requirement of the role. We as the recruitment team do not have the power to override the client on these points no matter how strong the rest of your experience is. If you believe you have comparable skills you must make this very clear on the first page of your CV AND include a cover letter outlining how your skill set matches those required by the advertiser. We in the Technical Recruitment field will always read your cover letter as only you can highlight just how closer match you experience really is.

A second look at your CV will be gauging the technologies you are familiar with and do you have the required level of competency in these technologies. My advice is to dedicate a section on the front page of your CV to highlighting your specialist knowledge. The easiest CVs to work with are those that provide sections detailing the relevant tools you have worked with; hardware, firmware, software, testing tools etc. It does no harm to indicate the level of experience you have alongside these skills as in number of years of proficiency, a self rated assessment of your expertise is less useful.

A final look at your CV focuses on the project work you have done over your career. This is far more important than a background to the work the company you work for does. We want to see how you specifically contributed to the project team, what impact you personally had on the project, and where you exceeded the expectations of your team lead. This is where it pays to have examples of your achievements as proof of your abilities. The CVs with the greatest impact in modern recruiting are those that are evidence based, be specific, and again approach this segment of your CV as to how this experience might be of value in another technical environment. All of this assessment takes place before we pick up the phone and give you a call.

In the world of technical recruitment, a proactive candidate will stand head and shoulders above the masses. Sign up for regular updates of roles available through the local job boards, send a specifically tailored application through to the recruiter, and my advice, ring the consultant 24 hours later to “see they have received your application”, if they are not available to speak to you at the time you ring, make a time to ring back for a brief call – it will bring your application to their attention and invariably gives your CV a second look.

On a final note, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, check your Inmails, and if your contract is coming to a close or you are officially actively looking for a role – state this in your Professional Headline on your profile. Any recruiter of value is constantly scouting LinkedIn for the best talent for their client, make it easy for them to find you.