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How to Woo a Recruiter: Tips on Our Hiring Process

Job hunting and dating really aren’t that different. Both can be stressful. You can put a lot of effort into it only to be ghosted. And you may have to try several times before you find the right fit for you. But with a little preparation, you can make yourself stand out. To help get you noticed on the job front, one of Dexis' recruiters highlights what she and her colleagues really look for in a candidate.

CVs: Simple vs. Slick

First impressions are everything. If you want our recruiters to swipe right on your profile, it all starts with your CV. Unless you are a graphic designer, avoid overly flashy formats and infographics. Simple is better than pretty. Strategically use bolded or underlined font and a range of sizes to clearly delineate sections of your CV (experience, key skills, languages, country experience, software expertise), but be sure to leave plenty of white space. (Insider tip for young professionals: you do not need to cram your CV onto one page). Lastly, keep the font on your CV legible (no cursive, please) and professional (looking at you, Comic Sans).

Keeping it Real (and Relevant!)

As with any romantic match, you want to highlight the qualities that make you an ideal candidate for someone’s attention. With a CV, that means efficiently articulating your core competencies and key qualifications. Use a written summary of your experience or some key bullet points to highlight your most relevant qualifications up front. As you write out your core achievements and responsibilities under each previous position, tailor language to demonstrate how easily your experience maps to the job you’re applying for. Move academics to the bottom of your CV (and feel free to leave off your GPA and highlights of your coursework).

Phone Screening: Authenticity is Everything

At the end of any date, you want to feel like you’ve made an authentic connection with someone. Phone screenings are no different. What differentiates a great candidate from a qualified one is someone who is able to demonstrate their genuine interest in landing this job, not just a job. It’s more than just memorizing Dexis’ mission statement and reciting a few facts off our website. It’s about expressing your sincere interest and excitement for this opportunity. Have you met with us previously at a career fair? Been following our social media presence? Do any of our recent blog posts resonate with you? What about Glassdoor comments (the good and the bad)? When it comes to love languages, recruiters are ‘words of affirmation’ types, and they love to hear about your genuine interest in the company and position. So, make it real, and make it count.

Interviews: Red Flags and Green Flags

We all have things that give us the ‘ick,’ make us roll our eyes, or make us question proceeding onto next steps. When it comes to interviews, there are a few common pitfalls that can be avoided with a little self-awareness. While phone screenings are for both recruiters and candidates to get their questions answered, let the recruiter take the lead. Spending the first 15 minutes of your interview asking detailed questions about the job or spending 20 minutes providing a “brief overview” of your career are red flags. Overly lengthy responses not only detract from the recruiter’s time to assess your skillset, but they also show a lack of awareness and inability to be succinct in your communication. In your answers, provide detail, provide examples, and hand it back to the recruiter. If you’re unsure if you’ve answered the question correctly, it’s more than fine to ask! It shows that you are actively listening and care about giving the recruiter the information they need.

When it’s time for questions at the end, keep them genuine. Younger professionals want to be taken seriously and may ask questions to prove their investment in the role. However, questions for an entry-level position that inquire about Dexis’ long-term growth strategies can feel inauthentic. Your questions should demonstrate your understanding of the position. Also keep in mind that some questions can set off red flags. Asking about growth potential is a green flag. It demonstrates you want to stay long-term and are excited to build your career. Asking about specific percentages for annual increases or how quickly you can expect to be promoted sends the message that you care more about the salary than the opportunity.

Cover Letters
We polled Dexis’ recruitment team to see how often cover letters are read, and some recruiters do read them and others don’t. However, they all agreed that if you’re submitting a cover letter, make sure it’s addressed to the correct company inquiring about the right position.
Salary Expectations
You don’t want to be unrealistic in your expectations, but you may worry that you risk being underpaid if you list something too low. Dexis develops salaries holistically by looking at market data, budgets, and an internal equity analysis. Lower salary expectations are never held against someone if higher is fairer.
Job Posts
A position that’s been posted for a few months shouldn’t be a deterrent. Timelines to hire vary, candidates fall through, and hiring teams have to re-recruit. All applications are reviewed by a recruiter. So, even if the job has been up a while, applying gets your CV into our database, and you might be contacted about another role.
Email Etiquette
Thank you notes? Yes, please. A recruiter probably won’t have time to respond, but it leaves a good impression. Requesting status updates? Sure, but be gracious with your requests. We strive for transparency throughout the recruitment process, but sometimes recruiters are waiting for status updates themselves. Asking for an informational interview? Give it a shot! Responses depend on the recruitment team’s bandwidth, but it never hurts. An even better way to connect with the team, though, is through career fairs and industry events.
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The Final Rose Ceremony

Job hunting is a job in and of itself. And in the end, we don’t all get a rose. Even when you do everything right, there’s someone else doing everything right too, and they might be a better fit for this particular role at this particular time. Don’t get discouraged. Ultimately, recruitment and job hunting are about building long-term relationships on both sides. And one day, a recruiter is going to reach back out to you and put a ring on it.

Picture of Idra Pavin

Idra Pavin

Idra Pavin is an International Recruiter at Dexis. Armed with a mug of tea and a sixth sense for talent, she’s on a mission to match the right candidates with the right jobs, even if it isn’t the job she originally contacted you about! Idra has a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and a graduate degree in medieval German literature.