I often speak with jobseekers who tell me they do not understand what working with a recruiter means or the best way to work with a recruiter. While I believe you are your own best advocate in a career transition, partnering with a qualified recruiter can be quite an advantage.
Here’s why: it is typically free to the jobseeker and can provide you with a significant competitive advantage. Recruiters work directly with hiring managers and often times are working on opportunities the general public does not have access to. Recruiters can provide insight to specific things the manager is seeking, can provide you with insight to a company’s culture, and help you broaden your job search. The key is to work together to get the best outcome!
Here is some advice when working with a recruiter:
- Do your research and chose a Recruiter who specializes in your field.
It may come as a surprise, but not all recruiters fill positions across all industries. Many recruiters specialize in specific industries, skillsets and markets. For this reason, working with a recruiter who specializes in you field, will likely increase the productivity of the relationships. They will have a better understanding of your specific skillsets and the day-to-day functions of applicable jobs.
- You choose which recruiters you work with.
When a recruiter calls, ask key questions to decide if you want to work with them. Questions like which firm they represent and their experience in your industry, market, and skill sets. Inquire about their process. Make note if they are good listeners, as strong communication with your recruiter is imperative. They must be able to understand your criteria to be a resource to you. Afterwards, conduct your own research. Inquire within and among your network and get a feel for the recruiter’s reputation before making your decision.
- Build proactive relationships with your recruiters.
A brief, proactive conversation may seem senseless now, but you never know what the future may hold. You may feel you are in a secure position, but mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, etc. can instantly change your current job situation. By establishing a proactive relationship with a recruiter, you will be better prepared to enter the job market. You will have a stronger understanding of the opportunities available in your market, the opportunities in your industry, and a more accurate expectation of what your career transition should look like. By establishing a relationship with a recruiter in advance, you will be better prepared to enter the job market should you need to.
- Trust the recruiter you have chosen to work with.
More often than not, your recruiter has the experience, insight, and wisdom to shepherd you through your interactions with an employer. They will provide invaluable insight to the employer’s culture, tips and tricks for interviewing, and act as an advocate for you. If you are not extended an offer, they can provide constructive criticism to help you preform better in your next interview or help you to understand where your qualifications didn’t meet the employer’s expectations. As you have built trust with the recruiter, they want to continue working with you on future opportunities and want you to be successful!
- Stay connected with the recruiter even after you’ve landed a job!
Remember the proactive relationship building we discussed earlier, well this is part of it. You never know when you may need the recruiter’s help down the road or when the relationship can be beneficial for either of you. Having a recruiter in your corner can provide phenomenal support in your career, even if you are not looking to make a transition. Keep this relationship going and the sky is the limit on your success!