Working with recruiters effectively


Build meaningful and trusting relationships with up to three recruiters in your industry, function, and/or geographic area. You want to be the first one they call whenever your dream job hits the market, and they can be a valuable resource even when you are happily employed.

Check the recruiter’s reputation and experience BEFORE submitting your resume. Unfortunately some recruiters lack integrity. They will send out your resume without permission and fail to keep things confidential. It does not help your search to be represented by a bad recruiter, and it tends to complicate the efforts of honest recruiters.

Communicate effectively with your recruiters, and you’ll get much better results. Be honest and timely. Effective communication could apply to a variety of subjects: your real salary, issues that could lead to a poor reference, other companies where you’re interviewing. An honest recruiter will keep your best interests at heart and will keep it confidential, no matter what you disclose.

Ask your recruiter BEFORE submitting to a company. Recruiters are paid for presentation of a resume that ultimately leads to a job offer (they are paid once the person starts their job). Recruiters cannot insert themselves into the process once you have represented yourself directly to a company. Better to ask first to see if your recruiter already has a relationship with that company.

Recruiters, career counselors, and outplacement firms all do different types of work. If you are in the process of changing from one type of work to another, or newly graduated, you’ll have more success with outplacement and career counseling rather than recruiters.

Finally, set clear expectations with your recruiter so they understand exactly what you want and need from them. Manage the relationship like you would any other valuable relationship. Return calls promptly. Follow up. Say thank you. If you feel pressure, push back and explain what it is you really need. Most recruiters are very genuine in their desire to help you, and a good one knows when to back off.

Recruiting is a more difficult job than it appears, especially in times of economic turmoil. If your recruiter has done something nice for you, whether or not they earned a fee, always remember to pay it forward.

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