When searching for your next career move, working with a skilled recruiter can make all the difference. The problem is, there are too many misconceptions that defer majority of job seekers away from using a recruiter. The truth is, recruiters can open the door to a company you may not have reached on your own, provide feedback on your personal materials, and coach you through the entire process of your job search. The trick to becoming a smarter job hunter is knowing how to foster a positive relationship with your recruiter and get the most out of your partnership.
Tip #1: Know Your Goals
Often candidates say they feel pressure to interview for a job they are not entirely interested in, resulting in a poor interview impression and, in turn, hurts the relationship with their recruiter. You have the power to prevent this by clearly conveying your professional goals.
• What type of culture are you looking for?
• What is your dream position?
• What location are you looking for?
The more the recruiter knows, the more they can accurately make a career suggestion that fits what you’re looking for.
Tip #2: Consider Recruiters who Specialize in Your Field
Not all recruiters are trained equally. Most recruiters specialize in specific industries and hold important contacts that can help you get ahead. They understand your field and the types of positions you’re looking for. It’s likely you’ll have the most productive relationships with recruiters specializing in your field.
Tip #3: Be Respectful
As in any professional relationship, people enjoy working with people they like. Treat your conversations with recruiters as if they are a hiring manager. The way you communicate is an indication of how you would represent yourself in a job interview.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of Career Coaching
Most times, your recruiter holds valuable knowledge that can help you navigate your job search. They often hold relationships with the hiring manager and understand exactly what they are looking for. Trust their advice and truly listen to the coaching they offer.
Tip #5: Be Honest
Don’t hold back on any pertinent job-related information that you think you may need to hide. Letting your recruiter know ahead of time will allow you to address things upfront and avoid an unexpected question in the interview. For example, if you have several employment gaps, your recruiter can take that information and best represent you to the employer.
Tip #6: Ask for Feedback
Recruiters deal with the process of job hunting day-in and day-out. Take advantage of their expertise by being open to constructive criticism. If they don’t offer it up voluntarily, ask them for feedback directly. This is a free service that will only improve your professional materials and interview skills.
Tip #7: Offer Referrals
Networking and gathering contacts through word-of-mouth is a large portion of a recruiter’s job. Offering your recruiter a qualified referral puts you in their good graces and at the top of their candidate list for future job openings. If you’re contacted about a position you’re not interested in, one way to spin the response positively is offering someone else who might be a better fit.
Tip #8: Keep in Touch
If you find the right recruiter, they can become a lifelong career resource. You never know when you might be in search of a new job, so try to stay in touch with your them for the long-term if the relationship is working. This can be as simple as sending a short email every 6 months or sending a referral to help a friend