Career: Secrets from a Professional SAS Recruiter
Recently I spoke with Dick Smith, Talent Engagement Manager for PiTech Solutions, about some tips for working with recruiters. He’s an experienced technical recruiter so I think you’ll find this information particularly insightful. He offers a good mix of traditional job search strategies and ways to leverage social media for your job search.
Working with SAS Recruiters
As for working with SAS or specialty recruiters, the technology world is most times defined by skill sets or product expertise. In SAS for example, there is a big difference between a SAS/Stat Programmer and a SAS BI/Analytics skill set. For my money, the KISS method applies in either case. So to begin with, keep your resume simple and straightforward. Tell the reader what you can do, what your best expertise is, and what you are looking to do with your career next.
Our screening process here at PITech Solutions, for instance, has a focus on the individual. Of greatest importance to us is to clearly understand what kind of position you are really looking for, or put another way – what is the ideal job for you? What do you see as your strongest expertise in the IT field at this point in your career?
Recruiters Seek Keywords Then Candidates
Recruiters today for the most part work with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and a job description that is loaded with skills (keywords). They are hardly, if at all, trained in knowing what those skills mean or represent; their boss tells them to find somebody who has [keyword] skill. So, if the keyword search in their ATS doesn’t find a matching skillset, there’s never a phone call made.
Any potential candidates are passed over almost immediately. Some recruiters might invest a moment or two to review a resume regardless. However, if they cannot quickly (30 seconds or so) find the information they want; they are off to the next prospect. [More about using keywords in your LinkedIn profile.]
Secrets for Resume Preparation
Here’s some tips for resume preparation:
- Make sure your true skills are represented in your resume (e.g. SAS BI Reporting, SAS/Graph, SAS Enterprise BI Server, etc.) You cannot be all things to all people.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the recruiter what you define as your ideal job.
- Be prepared to discuss how your expertise fits the need. Remember you might be talking to someone who hasn’t a clue as to what you do or are capable of doing.
- Work hard to reach the actual hiring authority at a company versus a recruiter. Very contrary to what I do for a living [See free article download below].
- Have a profile on LinkedIn and join relevant technologies groups, such as SAS Analytics & BI. They post jobs and have discussion groups.
- Create your own pay-it-forward blog and publish your work on the internet.
- Make sure your resume is posted on credible job boards. Stay away from spammers and mass resume distributors.
- In general, limit the number of recruiters you work with (maybe a half dozen at a time). Drop recruiters who do not communicate with you on a frequent basis.
Truthfully, smart aggressive recruiters will find you. The technology tools for sourcing people is ever expanding. The internet and cyberspace are remarkable. In summary, it’s all about meeting expectations – yours, the clients and ours. If you cannot do that – then how can you ever hope to make a deal?
The Hidden Job Market [Download this file] article for more job search tips and how to contact Dick Smith for assistance with your technical job search. I really appreciate Dick providing this information - appears he’s the rock star of the SAS Recruiting world!