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How to Maximize Your Relationships with Recruiters

November 2017- by Chelsea Derr, Transition Career Coach

These days, connections are key to finding your next job. Staffing firms and recruiters should be included in your professional network. How well you build and maintain these connections will impact the success of the relationship. As you would have certain expectations when working with recruiters, they as well have expectations. Here are some helpful guidelines on maximizing your relationships with recruiters.

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First off, I would like to clarify what recruiters do. Recruiters typically find candidates to fill job openings, not find jobs for candidates. A recruiter’s job is to present qualified candidates that are a good match for the client companies and managers they are supporting. With that said, they do not work for you, but with you, which is important to clarify because many candidates think of recruiters as headhunters, when in reality, their job is more involved.

If a recruiter contacts you, there are a few ways you can start the relationship-building process on the right foot:

  1. Evaluate the recruiter and the staffing firm:
    Does the staffing firm have any awards, specialties, benefits, other perks? Ask if they can send you any material that provides more information about the company. Check out their corporate LinkedIn profile, as well as the recruiter’s profile.

  2. Make sure they have your current resume:
    Check that your resume is up to date and has your current contact information.

  3. Meet with the recruiter to discuss your goals and preferences:
    If possible, ask to meet with the recruiter in person. Tell them your target roles, any technologies you’d like to work with, preferred industries or companies, etc. Don’t forget to dress to impress!

Now, if the position they contact you for isn’t a fit, still build that relationship by having a brief discussion of your preferences and keep their contact information for future use. If the position is a fit, make sure to inform them of the following points:

  1. Let them know where you stand in your current job search.
  2. Tell them how their position compares to other positions you’re pursuing. Recruiters cannot do their job without you, so be upfront, honest, and don’t keep them in the dark about your current situation. They are entitled to know if you are considering other job offers. This information can be leveraged to speed up the process and gauge the hiring manager’s interest.

Once you and the recruiter have come to an agreement that the position is a fit and your information will be submitted to the client manager for consideration, make sure to:

  1. Ask them to confirm the details discussed in a follow up email.
  2. Touch base with the recruiter weekly, if you haven’t heard from them, to get a status update.
  3. If you receive an interview request for the position, work with the recruiter to help prepare. If you cannot make appointments/interviews set, inform the recruiter as soon as possible.

I hope that these points will help you have a better understanding of how to successfully build relationships with recruiters. Stay tuned for more tips on working with recruiters!

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