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Working with a Recruiter

Working with a Recruiter – 15 Tips to Help You Succeed


Send A Resume

When you contact or are contacted by a recruiter, send a resume and other requested information, even if you make it clear that you are not interested in a current opportunity. Having your resume on file will make it more likely that the recruiter will call you again. If there are special circumstances surrounding your job search, tell your recruiter. These professionals deal with hundreds of applicants and understand discretion. If you are seriously interested in getting a new job, you shouldn’t be afraid to send out your resume. After all, the whole point of using a recruiter is to gain access to opportunities you would miss on your own.

Tell the Truth

Don’t EVER pad information or lie on your resume, on the phone, or in an interview. All recruiters have a universal loathing of candidates who lie, and they all have friends in the recruiting business – you may need their help in the future. Don’t burn your bridges by purposely misleading or lying. Besides, you might be risking your career as well. It’s not worth it.

Make Up Your Mind

Be sure you have discussed your job search with your spouse, partner or significant other. Decide which areas of the country you would be willing to consider. Be open to change, and don’t limit yourself unnecessarily unless there are significant reasons restricting your relocation. Other factors such as pay expectations, job title/responsibilities, and industry type should also be firmed up. Nothing is more aggravating to a recruiter than to have a candidate back out of a position because they changed their mind on one or more of these crucial points at the last minute. Make up your mind and stick to it. If something changes with your situation, inform your recruiter right away-don’t wait!

Keep it to Yourself

It is in your best interests to respect the confidentiality of information shared with you by a recruiter. Candidates and client companies depend on a recruiter’s ability to keep secrets. If a recruiter calls you, don’t expect to be told how they got your name. Don’t be offended if you are not told all of the details about a potential position. You will be given information on an as-needed basis, and you will be expected to keep it to yourself. Your friends and family may ask you about your job search, so please be careful what you tell them. It is especially important not to share details about compensation and other sensitive matters with anyone except your recruiter and your spouse, both of whom need to be informed and should respect your confidence.

Stay In Touch

Occasionally call and/or send resume updates so that the recruiter is aware of your continuing interest, current salary, etc. This does not mean daily calls and a flood of paper. Be polite and be reasonable. Your placement is important, but it takes time.

Help Your Recruiter

If a recruiter calls you about a position that is not right for you, be kind enough to pass along the names of potential candidates or individuals who might know potential candidates. Your participation will be kept confidential and you will be remembered when the appropriate opportunity for you comes along.


Don’t be afraid to share personal information with your recruiter. Knowing what is important to you helps us to find you a suitable combination of position, company, and location.

Call Promptly

When your interview or phone screen is over, call your recruiter as soon as possible to discuss the day’s events and your feelings about them while everything is fresh in your mind. A recruiter prefers to have your input before calling the client company to follow up the interview. Help your recruiter to help you. In fact, maintaining contact even after you have found a great job can be a good idea.

Don’t burn your bridges

Even if you didn’t like what the recruiter had to say or he/she didn’t give you as much attention as you would have liked, be professional and polite. That same recruiter might be the one to hand you your next job on a silver platter. Professional Recruiters look for the most qualified and successful people in their field. Usually those people are too busy to job search.

Don’t take it personally

Of 200 candidates uncovered in initial research, perhaps 50 will make the first cut, five will be finalists, and one will get the job. The search process aims for a perfect fit, and if you’re not chosen, it’s probably in your best interests anyway.

Be patient

Don’t burn your bridges with either the recruiter or your present employer. Recruiters may intend to get back to you, but in the recruiting world whatever is most pressing gets done first. If a recruiter doesn’t get back to a candidate, there’s nothing to talk about because the recruiter doesn’t have an appropriate position available.
Avoid unnecessary follow-up – it’s counterproductive. The recruiter will call you if he/she has a good reason. But do stay in touch with recruiters with periodic email updates to demonstrate your continued interest. After you speak with an employer, always call your recruiter immediately. Give the recruiter feedback after visits and telephone interviews so that she can aim more accurately the next time or perhaps work out any minor problems that may have come up. The recruiter will be “running interference” between you and the potential employer so don’t leave them out of the loop once the interview process begins. Use your recruiter’s skill in negotiations to express any concerns. This will help facilitate communication and allow some of the details to be handled at a more comfortable arm’s length.

Juggling more than one offer

If you have received more than one offer, it is generally best to let your recruiter and all potential employers know. Disclosing interest from other parties quite often has a snowball effect and if handled diplomatically, can certainly work to your advantage.

Don’t take too long to think about the offer

The longer you take to make your decision, the more likely it is that the employer will think you are not committed and that they have, perhaps, made a wrong decision. We have even seen cases where, due to inordinate delay, employers have retracted offers of employment.

Follow your recruiter’s instructions and listen

Listen to what your recruiter has to say and follow their directions. You will be more successful in your search as well as in an interview situation! Your recruiter often knows more than you do about the client, the hiring manager and the interview process and should prepare you for each interview. Be sure to listen closely to the recruiter’s interview tips and instructions. Also, it is important that you always do what you say you will do. When your recruiter asks you to call him/her after the interview, be sure that you do! Otherwise they may take it as a sign you are not interested or are unprofessional and they may not want to work with you in the future.

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