How to Work with a Recruiter

Image of Kimberly Joyce
Kimberly Joyce
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In my experience as a recruiter and working in the staffing industry for most of my professional career, it’s always great to speak with wonderful individuals and hear all about their talents and experiences. I also enjoy getting to know our clients and the talent they are looking for. The reason I enjoy my job, is being able to put everything together (what an individual is looking for and what a client is in need of to make a perfect match). Some people call this Career Matchmaking… Seeing the end result and both sides happy, makes for a successful story and my job worthwhile! That’s why I love being a Recruiter.

But, many times I hear from different individuals that they would rather not work with a recruiter or they do not enjoy speaking to a recruiter. However, recruiters can be very valuable in getting where you want to be and the position you are looking for. The Recruiter contacting you maybe from a Staffing Agency that has multiple jobs open that you might be interested in or they may be the first connection to get you into the company you are looking to get into. It’s all about how to work with recruiters.

What to do when working with a Recruiter:

1. Be yourself: 

Very important. Be yourself with the recruiter you are working with in letting them know exactly what you are looking for and who you are. Give them insight on the type of people you enjoy working with, what environments or industries you see yourself in, what motivates you to do a good job, etc.

2. Ace it:  

Treat a phone interview or face to face interview with a Recruiter the same way you would treat an interview with a large Fortune 500 Company or CEO. Recruiters work with hundreds, sometimes thousands of candidates on various positions and first impressions are always important. When talking on the phone or Skype, make sure you are fully focused on the interview. Set aside all distractions. Be polished, clean, and professional.

3. Be prepared:  

Make sure you are able to talk about your strengths, experiences, and software’s/ applications/ equipment you are familiar with. Did I mention elevator speech? Have questions ready about the position, environment, what the company is looking for, etc.

4. Talk it out:  

Talk with a recruiter, even if you are not sure about the position from the job posting. It doesn’t hurt to talk with a recruiter if you are on the job search. Again, practice makes perfect! Recruiters ask great questions which might give you more practice on your interviewing skills. Also, because the job doesn’t look great in writing- recruiters will be able to engage in exactly what the position is all about.

What NOT to do when working with a Recruiter:

1. Accept just any job:  

If a recruiter offers a job or even to go on to the next step to interview with executives, if in your gut you don’t feel that this is a right fit – it probably isn’t. It’s okay to say “thank you, but no thank you.” Be honest with them. They may have something else that may be right up your alley. Don’t waste anyone’s time, their time is as valuable as yours.

2. Be rude and aggressive:   

Bottom line, it’s not polite and you never know who knows someone, who knows the person you are looking to speak with about an open opportunity. Always be professional and if you do not have time to chat, let them know that. You can either reschedule for another time or let them know you are not interested.

3. Wait to follow up:

If you receive a call from a recruiter about a job you have been waiting to hear back from, do NOT wait to follow up with them when you get back from vacation or at the end of the week, or whatever it maybe. Time is of the essence. Recruiters are on a hunt to find the perfect candidate to fill their clients request. Of course, they shouldn’t put just anyone in the position but if you wait a couple of days, the opportunity could be gone.

4. Lie:  

Be honest about yourself and your experience. Making something up to sound impressive may get you in the door but eventually the truth comes out. You will not only be wasting your time but the company and recruiters time, as well. And you DO NOT want to be known as “the candidate that said they had 10 degrees but only had one.” Or whatever it may be.

Recruiters are great to work with, especially from staffing companies. If you are a great candidate, well prepared, professional, and know exactly what you are looking for – you will not be forgotten by a recruiter. I hope these tips help and happy job hunting!

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