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What is one basic thing to get right when working with a recruiter to land a job?

To help job-seekers best work with recruiters, we asked business owners and recruiting professionals this question for their best advice. From asking questions to qualify the recruiter to being honest about job preferences, there are several basic things to get right when working with a recruiter to improve the experience for both parties. 

Here are 12 tips for working with recruiters:

  • Ask Questions To Help Qualify A Recruiter
  • Take Notes 
  • Know Who the Recruiter Works for
  • Use Your Recruiter’s Network
  • Follow Up
  • Decide On Preferred Communication Channels
  • Stick to Your Niche
  • Always Respond Back in a Timely Manner
  • Be Honest About Base Salary
  • Trust the Recruiter and the Process
  • Understand the Process
  • Be Honest About Job Preferences

Ask Questions To Help Qualify A Recruiter

While a recruiter can help you get your foot in the door, you want to ensure an independent recruiter- or one who works for an agency- has expertise in the industry in which you work. Often agency recruiters work for multiple companies in various sectors, making it a good idea to interview the recruiter before they start sending your resume to prospective employers. Ask questions like, “What is your background,” “What types of positions do you think I would be most fitting for regarding your clients,” and “Do you think I will be better off staying in my current industry or venturing into a new industry vertical?” Their responses may be good indicators of their level of industry knowledge and how your qualifications make you a top candidate.

Chris Gadek, AdQuick

Take Notes

One extremely basic, but important, thing every job seeker needs to get right when working with a recruiter to land the big job is to bring a notepad and take notes throughout the interview! Now this may seem like one of the more obvious things to do, but you would be surprised how little job seekers do this when going out and get into the interview room. 

Making sure to take notes of key names, terms, job responsibilities, and information about the company throughout the interview can be vital as this can give you ideas for questions to ask later, remind you to say certain aspects about your experience and qualities when being asked by the recruiter, and it shows the recruiter that you’re actively listening and writing down important information to remember later, which shows them your initiative and willingness to learn about the company and the role. Simply bringing a notepad, pen, and your initiative can be the difference maker when the recruiter is making that final decision!

James Burati, 1-800-PackRat

Know Who the Recruiter Works for

One basic thing to get right when working with a recruiter is understanding their role in the process.  A lot of people are under the impression that a recruiter’s job is to land them a role. However, the recruiter’s job is to match qualified candidates with open positions for their client company. So, it’s important that you tailor your communication to sell yourself, your skillset, and your qualifications when talking to a recruiter.

Claire Westbrook, LSAT Prep Hero

Use Your Recruiter’s Network

Use your recruiter’s network to maximize your potential employment opportunities. You might show up to a recruiter’s office for one position, and leave with an interview for another role.

Finding a job that suits you can be tough. When working with recruiters, remember that they typically have several clients, deadlines, and quotas to fill. If you’re curious about working in a law firm, but wouldn’t mind exploring opportunities at a medical office, talk to your recruiter about what positions they’re auctioning for their clients.

This is a networking 101 skill. In the best-case scenario, your potential employer ends up paying for you to get free help finding your Goldilocks position.

Dylan Trussell, Culprit Underwear

Follow Up

After sending in their applications, candidates can show how much they care about job opportunities by remembering to follow up with recruiters if they have not heard back after a week or so. It’s important to take the time to express interest and enthusiasm regarding the job and the company when sending a follow-up email. Not everyone remembers to follow up, so doing so will show initiative and a real desire to be considered for a position.

Jared Hines, Acre Gold

Decide On Preferred Communication Channels

Communication is an integral part of building a rapport with recruiters and letting them know that you are eager for them to land you that perfect opportunity. In your first meeting, reveal the communication channels you prefer so that the recruitment team can get in touch with you promptly as soon as they have something for you. Emails, phone calls, texts, or a preferred social media handle — offer clarity at the very beginning so that you and your recruiter are always in touch.

Krista Haws, Dripped Coffee

Stick to Your Niche

If you have a niche you want to stick to, make sure your recruiter knows what it is and pursues jobs on your behalf with that niche in mind. Job searches have thousands of filters. A recruiter ought to be able to pinpoint even more precisely the kinds of jobs you seek and compile as many opportunities available. Make sure your recruiter filters everything down to the very job you seek. Finding your niche is key. You don’t want to get lost in the stream of resumes. You want employers to reach for yours easily and recognize you as a potential candidate. A recruiter can even help you realize what makes you unique. Use that to your advantage. Maintain an open line of communication with your recruiter and give them input on the best strategies for future opportunities.

Patrick Samy, Span

Always Respond Back in a Timely Manner

Timing is everything during the recruitment process. Recruiters want to present their clients with candidates who show interest in a role through preparation and action. If a recruiter reaches out to a candidate about a career opportunity, try to respond back within 24 hours. A candidate who gives prompt responses throughout the hiring process will stand out from applicants who seem hesitant about moving forward to the next stage.

Benjamin Farber, Bristol Associates, Inc.

Be Honest About Base Salary

Be clear about what you want your base salary to be. Whether it’s a full-time role or a part-time role, communicate with your recruiter about exactly what you want. They are representing you to the client. In order to make sure you and the recruiter are on the same page about the position, you have to be honest with them. That is how you’ll get the results you want.

Phillip Akhzar, Arka

Trust the Recruiter and the Process

Begin the process by having an open dialogue with your recruiter and conveying and gaining clarity on everything you wish. Once this is done and after all your questions have been answered, place your trust in your recruiter. Know that it is now their responsibility to hunt down and get you the best opportunities out there. Moreover, never doubt the process. Once you have placed your trust, leave the rest of the process to the professionals handling it.

Azmaira Maker, Ph.D., Aspiring Families

Understand the Process

By getting a good understanding of the process you can set the right expectations on both sides. As a healthcare staffing agency, we are very transparent about our recruiting process. Our systematic C.A.R.E.E.R. search process allows candidates to provide some basic insights and information. We then develop and execute a customized employment search program on their behalf. CAREER stands for Consult, Assess, Refine, Evaluate, Execute, and Review.

Roman Olshansky, On Time Talent Solutions

Be Honest About Job Preferences

Be honest with the recruiter about the kind of job you want. Tell the recruiter what you liked and did not like about your previous positions. This will allow the recruiter to have a better idea of which positions you may desire. Otherwise, the recruiter will only be able to go off of your resume which may not fully reveal what kind of job you are currently interested in pursuing.

Matt Miller, Embroker

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