5 Tips for Working with Job Recruiters

May 1, 2013

Job RecruitersIf you are looking for a job, one way to get your name “out there” is to contact recruiters. Job recruiters, also sometimes called head hunters, specialize in matching openings at companies with great workers.

When you work with a recruiter, you have the chance to get your name and your resume in front of a variety of companies, and even find the perfect job for you. But working with a recruiter requires planning and a little finesse.

1. Remember: The recruiter works for employers, not you.

The very first thing you have to realize is that job recruiter works for employers, and not for you. The recruiter is being paid to find a good fit for the company. This means that, even though you can work with a recruiter so that he or she has you in mind for job openings, you shouldn’t expect him or her to actively be finding you a job.

Recruiters are good contacts, and developing a relationship with a recruiter or two makes sense. But don’t expect the recruiter to be actively trying to find you a job. Instead, the recruiter is trying to find someone to fit a company’s need. This means that you need to be out actively looking on your own.

2. Dress to impress.

When you meet with a recruiter, remember that you are, in effect, going through an audition for a job. The recruiter wants to size you up for potential openings. This means you should show up dressed professionally for your industry. You should also make sure that your resume is up to date and makes use of best practices. Treat a meeting with a recruiter as a job interview, and come prepared with your elevator pitch, as well as information about your past job performance and your abilities.

3. Be honest about your abilities.

A job recruiter will want to know exactly what you bring to the table. Be clear about your skills, as well as what you can’t do. Project confidence in the skills you do have, and make it a point to demonstrate your expertise. You can also let the recruiter know about salary requirements and other important information.

If you are honest about your abilities and skills, the recruiter will be better able to identify which companies you might fit well with.

4. Check back with the recruiter.

While you don’t want to bother a job recruiter with daily phone calls, you can check back once every week or two. This can be a good way to make sure that you remain in the recruiter’s thoughts. Be sure that all of your interactions with the recruiter are polite and professional. Ask about potential openings, but don’t pester the job recruiter.

5. Take advice.

In some cases, job recruiters will tell you that you aren’t the right fit for a particular job. In other cases, a recruiter who thinks that you have potential will give you some pointers on making yourself more marketable. If a recruiter gives you advice, take it and thank them. If you can make a few small changes to improve your image or boost your marketability, the recruiter will be more willing to work with you.

Have you worked with a job recruiter in the past? Do you have any tips for the readers? Share them in the comments below!


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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One Response to 5 Tips for Working with Job Recruiters

  • Gregory

    I learned my lesson working with recruiters. I was once scammed by them, promising me job not related to my education and then asking me for a lot of fees. In the end, I wasn’t able to get the job.