How to Work with a Recruiter
I have been in your shoes. I was unemployed, looking to build my experience and pad my wallet while searching for a permanent role. I was lucky to have a recruiter whom I could trust, and we had a very successful relationship. She placed me three times into temporary roles, and during the fourth assignment I was offered a temp-to-permanent position very much in line with what I was looking to do. Little did I know, six years later I would be in my recruiter’s shoes doing the same work for eager job seekers. My relationship with my recruiter was successful for many reasons, and it boiled down to three simple points: I was honest, I was available and I was open to feedback. If you are looking to engage a recruiter to help you with your job search, follow these three tips to make the most of your relationship.
A good recruiter will always be supportive of your career goals. When you are honest with your recruiter, she will represent you accurately to her clients – the hiring managers. For instance, if your recruiter contacts you about an interesting contract position but you are having a final round interview for a permanent role, let her know. She will be up front with the hiring manger while still keeping you in contention for the role, in case the other opportunity doesn’t work out. Another example: if you are interested in a role, but have a vacation scheduled, let your recruiter know. She will communicate this information with the hiring manager; if you get the job, the client won't be surprised by an upcoming absence. On this topic, if your recruiter talks to you about a position that isn’t to your liking, be honest and let her know why. She can use this information to better tailor her search for you. If, for example, the position is a little out of your reach from a skills perspective, tell her. In many cases, we have selling power to get you a shot at an interview. That last thing you want is for your recruiter to represent your skill set incorrectly, leaving you with a very uncomfortable interview.
Now that you have established a feeling of trust with your recruiter, be available for her to work with you. The hiring mangers require us, as recruiters, to be highly responsive at all stages of the process. We need to be prompt in getting back to them, and if we can't reach you to schedule an interview or to deliver an offer, this can have a negative effect on your chances of landing the role. Help your recruiter help you! When your recruiter helps you land a role and checks in to see how things are going, be responsive and keep us in the loop. If things are going well, we want to hear it! If there are issues, we want to help; often times we can. Alternatively, don’t be overly-available. Avoid checking in with your recruiter every day. We are working hard with our teams to identify new opportunities for you and others; responding to your daily calls and emails takes us away from these efforts.
Be Open to Feedback
Your recruiter has a lot of insight and knowledge when it comes to resumes and interview techniques. We often interview anywhere from 10-20 individuals a week. We know what hiring mangers want to see on a resume and what questions they want to hear in an interview. Use this to your advantage and be open to feedback! Prepare with your recruiter before an interview. Ask us for insight on the interviewer and company. In many cases, we’ve had someone interview at this company before and may be able to steer you towards or away from things the hiring manager may or may not want to hear. It's always easy for us to hear good feedback or take advice on how to get the job, but it's not always comfortable hearing how we can improve. However, this is the feedback that is arguably the most important. When your recruiter delivers this feedback, take it with an open mind. We are usually the messenger in these situations, so don't shoot us! Instead, listen to what we are saying, and use this information to improve.
Having a successful relationship with your recruiter is a two-way street. When looking for a recruiter, make sure you find someone who will be honest with you, be available to you and will give you constructive feedback.