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How to work with a recruiter

Recruiters can be a phenomenal resource when you are looking for a new opportunity. Whether direct-hire or temporary positions, there is most certainly a recruiter for you. The key to utilizing a recruiting firm is to manage expectations. Remember, recruiters have two customers, you the candidate and the company who has hired them to recruit talent.

When initially speaking with a recruiter, be sure to confirm the areas of focus for their firm. Do they specialize primarily in IT, Accounting, Administrative etc. If they specialize in your area of expertise, you have successfully made the first step.

The next step is setting up a meeting with your recruiter.
Many times, people feel like they can skip this step and hope the recruiter calls them with an opportunity. Although this does happen, it is less likely that your recruiter will be 100% invested in you. They do not know you and it’s challenging to gamble their reputation on someone they don’t know. If they fail to ask you for a meeting, ask them to meet, even if it’s 15-20 minutes, it’s worth your time.

A great recruiter will offer more than interviews or one placement. Great recruiters provide resume tips, career guidance, they share market knowledge, they have intimate information about their clients and most of all they polish your interview skills which ultimately help you find a job whether it’s through them or on your own.

Follow up and collaborative communication is key. Prior to floating your resume blindly to a company you find on a job board, don’t be afraid to call your recruiter and inquire about their relationship with that company. You never know if your recruiting contact has a relationship with the companies you are targeting and they can elevate your resume to the hiring manager.

As for ongoing communication, remember, it’s a two-way street. Recruiters will generally follow-up with you and provide updates as often as they can or if they have a new opportunity but don’t hesitate to be proactive and keep in touch with them about your search. Call your recruiter every week or two and remind them of your availability and your eagerness to find a new position. Great recruiters appreciate your passion.

Recruiters certainly can’t place everyone they work with, but good recruiters sure do try. Generally, it’s about timing. Sometimes we have the perfect position at the perfect time and sometimes we love your background and just don’t have the right job.
Whatever your experience has been with a recruiting firm, always remember that we can be a valuable resource in your toolbox. Utilize us, you will be glad you did.

About the Author

Shaun Enders is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Transition Staffing Group located in San Diego. Shaun is extremely passionate about recruiting and developing others to bring out the best version of themselves.

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