7 Keys to Working with Recruiters

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Working with a recruiter could be one of the best career decisions you’ve ever made. It can also be a serious waste of time and lead to disappointment and even resentment.

Choosing the right firm, the right recruiter and getting off on the right foot can be essential steps to landing you in a position that fulfills your ambitions. Follow these simple seven tips to get the most out of your recruiter relationships.

1. Choose firms (and recruiters) that specialize in what you do. As obvious as it sounds, a little research will go a long way to helping you find the right position. If a firm or recruiter doesn’t understand the language of your profession, chances are they won’t have the skill to obtain the job orders from managers hiring people like you.

2. Work with a senior recruiter when possible. It’s perfectly OK to ask a recruiter a few questions to determine their experience and ability level. Check them out on LinkedIn. Do they have good recommendations? Are they connected to your industry?

3. Most recruiters work for free until they make a placement and when they do, it’s the client who pays not you the candidate. Remember this and treat them accordingly. If a recruiter doesn’t like you for whatever reason (thinks you’re rude or arrogant) it’s unlikely they’ll submit you for any jobs.

4. Staying in touch is YOUR job – just don’t stay in touch too much. It’s essential for you to gently remind your recruiter of your existence. However, too many phone calls or emails and your recruiter is likely to run the other direction and begin avoiding you. Striking the balance is easy. Ask your recruiters how often they would like status updates. I recommend sending an email each week with your availability status, whether you have interviewed recently etc. Include in the email “REPLY NOT REQUIRED”. This keeps your recruiter informed without generating more work for them.

5. Take the advice. If you’ve chosen your recruiter wisely and are working with someone with many years in the industry and he or she offers you advice TAKE IT. They know much more about resumes, interviews, and skills trends than most other people you’ll come in contact with.

6. Register with more than one firm. More recruiters equals better odds of landing the job you want most.

7. Keep track of places you interviewed, the managers you met with and share this info with your favorite recruiters. Many recruiters rely on leads from candidates to grow their job openings, which helps them place other people. This is the very best way you can repay a recruiter for the time they spend with you. Not only will it be appreciated, but it will keep you at the very top of their available candidates matrix as well.

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