Recruiters thrive on making optimal matches between job seekers and employers. We’re always looking for the win-win — the candidate gets the best possible job for his or her needs and the company adds prized talent to their team. Working with a recruiter definitely puts you at an advantage.
In today’s reality, recruiters and candidates need laser-like focus to find the best professional fit. But if you and your recruiter collaborate effectively and efficiently, the outcome can be a big win for all involved.
Here are 10 ways you can work more closely with your recruiter:
1. Be Clear on What You Want
Know what you want and be crystal-clear when describing your ideal role to your recruiter. Provide details about job title, industry, size of company, responsibilities and length of commute. Be mindful of what intangibles are important to you and communicate them up front, including work/life balance, career advancement, salary and a strong mentor. Don’t be indecisive unless you truly are open to any opportunity. If you articulate your strengths and desires, your recruiter can better serve you.
2. Tailor Your Resume
Respect suggestions about your resume. Recruiters know their clients and what they expect in a candidate. Accept advice about what works best for specific positions — the layout, mission and job descriptions may vary from one job to the next. Format your resume for the exact job requirements specified by your recruiter. You have nothing to lose and may get the job simply by tailoring your resume.
3. Be Honest and Transparent
Don’t hide things from your recruiter. If you left a job because you didn’t like your boss — or for any other reason — tell your recruiter. If you have gaps on your resume, don’t mislead your recruiter about them. Your recruiter is your career advocate and will help communicate your unique story. Recruiters don’t like surprises — be transparent and they’ll fight for you.
4. Trust Your Recruiter
Be straightforward with your recruiter and expect the same from them. Tell them about your current employment status in real-time. Let your recruiter know if you are currently pursuing other opportunities, what the timing is for interviews and how you rate each opportunity. This will help them better serve you.
5. Honor Your Commitments
If you agree to have your resume shared with a company, you agree to be interviewed. You don’t have to take the job, but you must show up. Value your recruiter’s time and interest in your talents, and always put your best foot forward. Your actions are a reflection on both you and the recruiter.
6. Help Recruiters Help You
Let your recruiter know if you find compelling positions online and share the details with them. This simple act gives your recruiter greater insight into your interests and provides a lead for them to follow on your behalf.
7. Listen and Learn
Whether you consider yourself a pro or haven’t interviewed in years, a good recruiter will be able to provide important guidance on acing interviews. Be coachable and open to receiving constructive criticism. You might get advice on what to wear, how to highlight your skills and what research you should do. Listen and respect their knowledge and experience. Remember: Your recruiter wants you to succeed in this hyper-competitive market. When he or she offers feedback, honor it.
8. Practice Mutual Respect
Like all of us, recruiters want to feel valued for their efforts and want to work with people who they admire—both clients and candidates. How you communicate with your recruiter is an indication of how you will represent yourself with a hiring manager. Always be positive, professional and a team-player.
9. Be Patient
Most recruiters receive hundreds of emails every day and manage countless calls, interviews and client visits. You might get lost in the shuffle, but don’t take it personally. Be accountable for maintaining a good relationship. If something is important, follow up with a phone call versus email. If you have a simple question, send a text. Remember: Recruiters want to help you but are often juggling countless contacts.
10. Sustain the Relationship
Stay in touch with your recruiter after you start a new role. He or she can be a lifetime advocate—supporting future opportunities by understanding what makes you tick and where you want to take your career. Keeping up the relationship can help your recruiter advance your next move when the time is right.
Ultimately, consider your recruiter a critical ally on our career journey. If you’re seeking new employment—or just curious about what jobs are available—the recruiter can help guide the way and can make all the difference succeeding in today’s competitive market.