Whether you’re about to start a new job search, or you’re a passive job seeker who likes to keep tabs on potential opportunities, a recruiter can be a valuable ally.
Recruiters can enhance your job search by helping you broaden your network, providing job leads you wouldn’t otherwise hear about and offering background on prospective employers. In addition, recruiters are an excellent source of career guidance and information. They can offer interview tips, salary data, résumé advice and other suggestions to help you improve your marketability. And once an employer makes an offer, the recruiter becomes a valuable go-between in helping you and the prospective employer reach a mutually satisfying agreement. But getting noticed by a recruiter for the right reasons is key. Regardless of the type of relationship you’re looking to forge with a recruiter, here are some guidelines that will earn you a place on a recruiter’s go-to list:
Work with a specialist. A specialized recruitment company boasts more industry-specific opportunities and contacts than a generalist company. As a result, a specialist company is more likely to excel at helping you accurately assess your marketability and identify openings that are a good match for your skills and preferences.
Trust the recruiter. The time to thoroughly vet your recruiter is before you engage with him. Take your time screening potential recruiters, checking out their reputation and talking through any questions or concerns you might have about how you’ll work together.
Once you agree to let someone act as your advocate, step back and trust the person to do so without undue second-guessing. Remember that recruiters have a vested interest in ensuring an all-around good fit, so have faith in their ability and desire to help you find the right situation and reach a satisfying agreement.
Honesty is always the best policy. Recruiters are busy and appreciate candor. If you’re unlikely to consider a job change, say so. Don’t string the recruiter along just to hear what’s going on in the job market.
On the other hand, if you’re actively working with a recruiter, make sure the person has all the necessary information to represent you properly. This includes being honest about what you’re looking for in a new job and your salary expectations.
Also, if you’re trying to set up a job interview on your own through your contacts, mention this. It would be embarrassing for the recruiter to recommend you for a job that you’re already pursuing.
Be helpful. If a recruiter unexpectedly contacts you about an opportunity that you’re not interested in, consider whether you know someone else who might be. Recruiters love to be referred to good prospects, and the fact that they can say, “Joe Smith said I should get in touch with you” helps break down barriers to new candidates. Furthermore, you never know when something could change with your employment situation. By being polite and helpful, you’ll be in a position to enlist the recruiter’s help, should you need it in the future.