As recruiters, we at Merit321 have been through hundreds of interviews with candidates looking for their next big career break. However, while many of the candidates we screen for our positions appear well qualified on paper in the skills they can offer our clients, not all are equal. If you want to impress a recruiter into passing your resume along to a potential employer, you must prepare for the phone screen. Here are three reasons to prepare for a recruiter’s phone screen.

1. Recruiters Act as an Employer’s Initial Contact with the Candidate

Recruiters act as the employer’s initial contact with the candidate. Many candidates don’t realize that we are more than just a headhunter wanting to submit your resume to a hiring manager for consideration. We serve as the gatekeeper to get you the interview and we screen numerous candidates just for one role. Employers rely on us to find the best candidates for their openings, so it’s important our conversations remain professional.

When you talk to a recruiter, keep in mind they represent the employer right from the moment they contact you. Doing this elevates your candidacy and provides with a leg up on your competition.

2. Preparing Presents Your Best Self

Preparing presents your best self to the recruiter conducting the phone screen. By preparing, you have mitigated one key element that a lack of preparation often produces: poor communication.

When a recruiter is conducting a phone screen, we are doing more than just learning about your technical qualifications. We are evaluating who you are as a person as well as how well you can communicate your thoughts and ideas. Preparation helps you hone your ability to have a focused conversation and practice your ability to deliver clear, concise answers that propel your candidacy forward.

3. Employers are Twice as Likely to Hire You

Employers are twice as likely to hire you when you prepare for a recruiter’s phone screen because it puts you one step ahead of other job applicants who don’t prepare. Preparing for the recruiter’s phone screen provides you with extra practice, and as the old saying goes, “practice makes perfect.”

The more you practice your interviewing skills, the more relaxed and confident you are in the hiring process, and that gives you an edge when you finally get to sit down with the hiring manager. Candidates who prepare well are less anxious, more focused, and able to sell their employment value more effectively than those that don’t.