As a recruiter, we speak with thousands of consultants to evaluate their background and determine the best fit for our clients’ requirements. Regardless of the type of job, the easiest way to break down what we are looking for is into two categories: hard skills and soft skills. Like hardware and software, they both need to work together to produce the interface required for the end user. In our case, the end user is our client. Our job as a recruiter is to understand how good of a match the consultant is by evaluating both their hard and soft skills.
Get the most out of every conversation with recruiters in order to open the door to more work because many times, recruiters hold the key to your future positions. Below are two suggestions on how to best communicate with recruiters about your hard and soft skills. Each point finishes with a question to consider for you to make the most out of every conversation.
Come to realize the recruiter doesn’t need to know how you do what you do
Not all recruiters will understand the technology you are using and that’s OK! Take a step back from what you know and aim to communicate how you put it to work on your last project. Break out your technical/hands-on experience and functional requirement gathering duties. Talking about recent experience from a 10,000ft view will allow you to connect with the recruiter and quickly determine your interest and success on the project that’s being presented.
Where do you land on the techno/functional scale? (60/40, 70/30, 80/20)
Your most recent experience is typically the most relevant
Your overall experience and career path defines your current abilities to perform at a new company. Considering all of your experience is important and with that being said, the past three years will heavily influence whether or not you quickly score an interview for a new position. If your recent experience has been 90% technical, recruiters will likely cue in on this and present opportunities that are heavy on the technical side. Selling your strong functional skills from five years ago typically won’t be weighed as heavily as your more recent experience. Framing your resume and conversation around your most recent work can be beneficial towards deciding if you move quickly through a recruiting process.
What have you been most focused on in the last three years of your working career?
Recruiters typically know the market for the position they are presenting. Part of our job is to work with the client to manage their expectations of their technical and functional requirements. When connecting with recruiters, be understanding and remember that they are advocating on their client’s behalf. Hopefully, the tips above will help you quickly determine the best blend of technical and functional skills each recruiter has a need for. Best of luck on your journey!