What to do before engaging with a Recruiter?

What to do before engaging with a Recruiter?
Article contributed by Sinead Whelehan
Written on 27 October 2015

Prepare your CV

As someone who has read 1000’s of CV’s - certain aspects stand out time and time again. Recruiters spend about 7 seconds scanning a CV before doing an initial phone screen. That means you have 7 seconds to impress! CV’s need to be laid out well and my advice is to get the relevant work experience onto the first page. This is quite obviously the most important part as it determines if you will get to the next stage of the process.
Keep it snappy! There is nothing worse than a CV spanning over 7 pages. Recruiters lose interest and start to scroll- important information can get lost in the length.
In terms of font- Times New Roman are gone with the Romans! Arial or Calibri is much more appealing and makes the CV look more up to date and easier to read. If you want to be really precise- size 11 is sufficient!

Buy a New Suit/ Interview Attire
Dress to Impress. It’s that simple! You need to look the part. Recruitment processes can move quite quickly so it’s best to be prepared. Purchase a new suit in advance of scheduling meetings. Think of it as an investment so don’t be afraid to spend the money on the classic suit that will last.

Speak to your Manager
Before making any big decisions, at first we always recommend speaking to your boss. It’s always best to get clarity around why you really want to leave. If it is a salary issue- maybe a conversation would your manager could resolve everything. We never recommend people to chase $$$. If you don’t speak to your manager what may happen is you will go through the whole process and once you hand in your notice, you may get counter offered.
We do a lot of coaching around this and the statistics speak for themselves; 98% of people who accept a counteroffer still look to move on and have the same reasons within four months.

Decide what you want to do? Do you want to do the same job? Y or N?

  • If no, are you happy with aspects of your current role or do you want to pursue something completely new and different?
  • If you want to do the same job- Speak to a Recruiter!
  • If you want to do aspects of the job- Speak to a Recruiter!
  • Set your plan. Is there something you need to do? For example MBA/ Leadership course
  • If you want to pursue a completely different avenue- perhaps speak to a career advisor on the best option for you.

At the end of the day we are not career counsellors, we are experts in our particular industry and can only advise from there. We are here to help, but we cannot advise outside of our own field.

Keep an eye out for the follow-up to this article.


Sinead Whelehan 

Associate Consultant 


Walker Andersen - It's all about time