Knowing how to work with a recruiter effectively can open up a world of new opportunities for you and can potentially help you land your dream job! This post is going to tell you just how to do that.
First, Identify the right recruiter to work with
There are all types of recruiters out there that specialize in different fields. Talk to your network or do your research on finding a reputable firm that has the right connections in the line of work you are in or want to be in going forward. I highlight reputable because there are good and bad recruiters out there. Reason being there is a very low barrier to entry to become a recruiter. But to be a good recruiter takes someone with the right intentions, someone who is honest and sincere, someone who can work efficiently, and also have the ability to make the right matches.
Next, Apply to a specific job posting or send a general application to your recruiting firm of choice
Most agencies have multiple job postings, but it’s sometimes even better to send a general application so that you don’t pigeonhole yourself – we have one here at Clarity and sometimes find our best candidates that way. Recruiting agencies have multiple positions open at any given time so if you don’t see a job posted where you would look like a super strong candidate for that specific job, send a general application. You don’t want to appear as though you are not self-aware and applying to something you are not qualified for. The golden rule is to only apply once! Do not apply to multiple jobs at one staffing firm or send multiple general applications, once is enough – otherwise, it appears desperate.
The best next step is that the recruiter reaches out to you to schedule a phone or in-person interview.
How to nail the interview with a recruiter
People have varying views on how to handle an interview with a recruiter, but let me tell you what we are thinking on our side of things. We are meeting potential candidates that we want to help find a great new opportunity with our clients who are paying us to make the right matches. With that said, our judgment and reputations are on the line every time we recommend a candidate for a job. With this in mind, a job seeking candidate going in for an interview at a staffing agency should really bring their A-game, but also be genuine. Things you must do in your interview with a recruiter:
- Bring a hard copy of your resume
- Be on time. If you are not on time for our interview, what makes us think you would be on time for an interview with our clients? If you are running late, shoot us an email or call at the very least.
- Dress professionally as you would for any other interview. Why? Because the way you present yourself at our office is how we will think you will present yourself at our clients’ offices and therefore represent us so make it easy for a recruiter to want to put you in front of their clients.
- Be honest. While you may withhold certain information when in an interview with an actual hiring manager when working with a recruiter, it is in your best interest to be as honest as possible. We are trying to find you a best-matched opportunity, the only way to do be successful in this process is to be honest about your strengths, compensation expectations, timing, and your progress in your job search. Also, be honest about what jobs you truly want to go for – it doesn’t benefit anyone to go for a job you are truly not excited about.
After the interview – how to work with a recruiter
Once you had your interview with a recruiter you want to maintain the relationship as best as possible. There is a balance of checking in just enough to stay top of mind and checking in too much. At Clarity, we are boutique and have physical resumes on our desk with handwritten notes in addition to our digital ATS, while this may sound old school, this method ensures we remember every candidate and provide everyone with a tailored experience. As a guideline, I would recommend checking in no more than once every 2 weeks. I personally, don’t feel the need for my candidates to check in often, I have a system down for remembering candidates and I like to reach out when I have a job in mind for them.
Just as you expect the recruiter to keep you posted on relevant jobs that come up, we expect you to keep us posted on your job search progress. While some people follow the outdated advice to tell people what they want to hear and make it seem as though the job we present to you is #1, don’t say it unless it’s true. When we know your honest opinion on where you stand with a job we are putting you up for, we can best manage our clients’ expectations. A well-intentioned recruiter won’t be upset or pushy if a job they presented to you is not your #1, they will want to help you find that #1, so be honest.
The bottom line to be successful in working with a recruiter on your job search is to do your research to find the best-matched recruiter or agency for your goals, treat it as a professional relationship, yet build trust and be genuine and you will set yourself up for success and hopefully ultimately find your dream job.
Hear from our candidates on what it’s like to work with us and if you are interested in working with a Clarity recruiter on a specialized search, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference this post. We can’t wait to hear from you!