Six Tips for Working with Job Recruiters


Job recruiters certainly have a place in the employment field. If you work with one of these job placement pros, knowing how to maximize the relationship will benefit both of you. Here’s some tips.

BE QUICK. Time is critical for job placement. Job recruiters value speed. If a recruiter is trying to reach you to discuss an opportunity, he wants to talk to you right away. If he can’t get to you, he’ll move on to the next name on his list.

However, you should also be aware that a job search through a recruiter can take longer to complete than a job search you make on your own directly with the company. That’s just the nature of the beast.

BE CONCISE. Remember that a job recruiter can be working on numerous searches simultaneously. Many recruiting firms require their recruiters to place a minimum number of applicants each month. So, show your business etiquette skills and respect the value of the recruiter’s time whenever you connect.

BE A FRIEND. It’s always smart to build a relationship with your recruiter. Always take a recruiter’s call, even if you are not looking for a new position.

A recruiter in your industry can give you valuable industry information, and you can be a good source of information for the recruiter as well. Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities and candidates, and then share that information with the recruiter.

Referrals are always appreciated by recruiters. If you are not a fit for an opportunity you are contacted about, but you can recommend someone else, share that information.

DON’T DOUBLE-DIP. Don’t contact too many recruiters, especially at the same firm. Recruiters often have access to an internal candidate management system that allows them to see what contact you’ve had with other recruiters within the firm, and other positions you’ve applied for. You look over-anxious, and the redundancy is confusing.

BE HONEST. Let your recruiter know when you are working with another recruiter. If two contingency (“free-lance”) recruiters submit you as a candidate to the same firm, the company may not consider you at all, even if you are a great match. Companies don’t want to mediate an argument between two recruiters about who “owns” the candidate and would receive the commission.

THINK AHEAD. If you are working with a recruiter, don’t apply for the same positions you are applying to directly. You may disqualify yourself because an employer doesn’t want to risk a recruiter making a claim for a commission if you are hired directly.

If you see a position advertised and are contacted by a recruiter for the same opportunity, you can decide whether you want to apply directly, or be submitted as a candidate by the recruiter. If you have a networking contact at the company, you may decide to apply directly. Otherwise, a good recruiter can get you in front of a hiring manager more easily than you could get noticed yourself.

Follow these simple rules and you’ll make the most of your working relationship with a job recruiter.

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Author: Mir Garvy

I’ve written resumes for 2,000+ job seekers just like you—and helped my clients land jobs with companies like Amazon, SAS, Google, Duke University, Travelocity, Cisco Systems, GlaxoSmithKline, Expedia, and IBM.