Before you face the directors or hiring managers of your target company—those who will have the final say on staffing decisions—you’ll need to make your way past the first round of gatekeepers. In the sales field, these may include HR pros, company contacts and a very highly influential group: recruiters. As an experienced or aspiring sales rep, how can you use your skills to win the confidence of your recruiter and convince them to put their weight behind your candidacy? Start with these simple moves.

Recognize how the system works.

Your recruiter may not be a sales expert, and may not have a deep background in the specific product or service you promote. But they know one thing very well: how to source, screen, identify and promote excellent sales candidates. Emphasize the qualities and credentials that will make them proud to represent you to their clients. Understand how their job and goals operate in relation to yours and those of your target employer.

Answer quickly.

When your recruiter contacts you with questions, don’t put off your response. They are trying to help you, and most sales positions are staffed on tight deadlines. Give them the information they need so they can help you move forward. At the same time, don’t expect the reverse. Be patient with your recruiter’s responses and recognize that though they’re trying to help you.

Stay professional.

When your recruiter calls or schedules a meeting in their office, dress for success. Sit up straight. Give clear and articulate answers. In every way, present yourself as a professional sales person with something important to sell (yourself). Don’t assume they’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and don’t expect her to pitch your skills if they can’t them them for herself.

Rely on numbers.

Your sales record may be based on intangible successes, like profitable relationships, a wide network of contacts and past deals that brought benefit to both parties. But right now, the most valuable information you can share with your recruiter will be numbers. As in, quotas reached, contracts signed and units successfully sold and delivered. Put numbers on your accomplishments and they’ll be easier to remember and translate.

Sell your personality.

Charm your recruiter not by getting your smile whitened (though that helps), but by staying cheerful, honest, cordial and dialed in. Be yourself, and present yourself as the kind of person you would hire.

For more on how to get your recruiter on your side and land a dream job in the sales field, turn to the Milwaukee staffing team at Extension, Inc.


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