Work With a Recruiter to Diversify Your Job Search

Work With a Recruiter to Diversify Your Job Search

Keep your career on track by knowing how to work with a recruiter.

To begin, figure out how to find the right recruiters and reach out.  However, sometimes recruiters reach out to you before you find them. So, it's a good idea to be ready for that conversation and and figure out what to say when the recruiter calls - dos and don'ts. Always keep in mind that a recruiter is an additional resource you can use to succeed in a tight job market or to get sound advice anytime. 

This post will help you understand how recruiters operate and gives ideas on how to work with recruiters in both general and specific circumstances. 

General Guidelines For Working With Recruiters

  • Understand how recruiters operateRecruiters are ​hired by companies to fill positions. They often work with their clients in some depth so they may have unique insights on how good a match a candidate is for any opening.
  •  Focus on your best leadsStudies show that about 10 per cent of job hunters find a new position through search firms. Use them as a supplement to other strategies like networking, social media and answering ads.
  •  Gather personal referencesAsk people in your field for recommendations on the top headhunters. Learn from their experiences.
  • Make cold callsIn some cases, you may need to find recruiters on your own. Check professional directories or search online. Call the appropriate staff person to present your qualifications and see if you can arrange a time to meet.
  •  Flaunt yourself on social mediaMost recruiters are active on LinkedIn, Twitter and other platforms. Make yourself visible, join relevant groups and offer help to others.
  • Treat recruiters like any potential employerRegard contacts with search firms as seriously as you would any job interview. Dress professionally, do your research and rehearse your answers.
  • Tell the whole truthBe candid with recruiters about your work history, salary expectations and career goals. They can help you more if you level with them.
  • Offer explanations for any areas of concernEveryone has some imperfections. Be proactive in offering a good reason for gaps in your employment history or other topics that a potential employer might question.
  • Listen to the recruiter's adviceRecruiters will typically provide extensive guidance throughout the interview process. Take advantage of their expertise to prepare for interviews, debrief, and follow-up.
  • Make your own career decisionsAs helpful as search firms can be, you're still in charge of your future. You need to feel good about accepting any new position.

Guidelines For Working with Recruiters in Specific Circumstances

  • Start adding recruiters to your networkNaturally, companies are unlikely to pay recruiters for entry-level positions if they're already flooded with more resumes than they can read. If you're new to the job market, you may want to attend events or socialize online to build future contacts.
  • Keep in touch while you're still employedLike most things in life, it pays to be prepared. Start talking with a search firm while you're still happily employed. Recruiters will welcome the chance to keep you in store for future opportunities and employers often prefer candidates who are currently working.
  • Coordinate approaches if you’re using multiple recruitersIt's often preferable to work with more than one recruiter at a time. Let each search firm know what else is going on and stay on top of the process yourself. Employers may be put off if they receive your resume from more than one source.
  • Consider exclusive arrangements. Congratulations if you're so prominent in your field that recruiters are calling you. In such cases, you might get asked to be represented exclusively. Being such a high priority could work to your advantage. 
Recruiters work for the employers who pay them, but they can still provide you with valuable benefits if you understand their role and needs. Get to know the top recruiters in your field and tap into opportunities you might otherwise miss.

About the Author

Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.
Feel free to connect with Mandy Fard on LinkedIn:

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