Working with a Recruiter

Recruiting agencies have come a long way. Historically known as head-hunting firms, agencies have worked hard to come out from the shadows of their shady reputations. Sure, there are always some bad apples in the bunch. But generally, most firms in the business today practice what they preach. They have greater respect for the candidate and truly want to work towards developing a long-lasting relationship. Working with a recruiter can be a game changer when looking for your next career step. Whether looking for temporary work to gain experience in the workforce or seeking assistance with a full-time job search in a specialized field, there are serious advantages to working with a recruiter that you just can’t overlook.

Regardless of the type of job search itself, here are the top 3 reasons why working with a recruiter should be part of your job search strategy:

1. Advocacy:

If you submit your resume to a job online, the only thing you have to help influence the internal recruiter is your resume. When working with a recruiter, the recruiter has a direct line of communication with their internal counterpart. They will submit your resume along with a pitch of why you’re a great candidate for the job. The next step is usually a phone call to discuss the submitted candidates. If the hiring manager or internal recruiter has any hesitation around your experience, your recruiter can be your advocate. Recruiters are not just a source of candidates for their clients but are often trusted advisors when it comes to candidate selection.

2. Advice:

When you’re not working with a recruiter, do you revise and tweak your resume, never knowing if it’s good enough? Do you leave interviews with less than positive feelings but have no idea where you may have made mistakes? When you interview on your own, you have no personalized guidance available to you. However, a recruiter will not only help prep you for your interview but will debrief with you afterwards as well. They will go over how to answer questions and offer helpful insight regarding who you’re interviewing with, what they are looking for and how to impress them. Not only that, often, they receive feedback from the client after the interview that you can internalize and use to improve your interview skills. This type of advice is invaluable to you as a job seeker.

3. Access:

So this is what it’s really all about, right? When you’re looking for a job, the most important thing is having access to employers ready to hire you. Recruiters and the companies they work for have spent their entire careers cultivating a network of people in charge of hiring at some of the most desirable companies to work for. That doesn’t mean that working with a recruiter guarantees you’ll have a new job in a week. It means that working with a recruiter can be more efficient and more effective. Depending on the urgency of your search, you could potentially eliminate the need to submit to online job boards altogether.

So now that you know the top benefits of working with a recruiter, the main question is how do I spot a bad recruiter? Make sure you’re working with someone you feel you have a good rapport with. Ask yourself if you feel respected and if they truly understand what it is you’re looking for. However, keep in mind that even the best recruiters can’t always jump on a phone call or offer guidance on a daily basis. It’s important that you are also respectful of their time and preferred method of communication.

The best way to find a great recruiter is to ask friends for referrals. When a recruiter contacts you, do your research. Look at their LinkedIn profiles and read their recommendations from candidates they’ve worked with. Finally, whenever possible, meet them in person. Just because your friend had a connection with someone doesn’t mean you will. Invest some time in finding the right recruiter for you. It’s a relationship that may last your whole career!