Working with a Recruiter
It is important to first understand that a recruiter’s primary focus is on finding people that fit their client companies’ jobs. The client companies pay the fees. The recruiters work for the client company and with people in their specialty.
Recruiters work with both people who are actively looking for new positions and people that are passive job seekers. It is important to build a relationship with a recruiter when you are not looking for a job. First, you never know when a great opportunity could come to a recruiters attention. Secondly, when you do need a recruiter you will already have an established relationship.
All recruiters specialize in a specific area, typically across three dimensions – industry, discipline and geography. When you are ready to reach out to a third party recruiter, you want to find one that works specifically in all three dimensions that you are interested in and qualified for.
When you are ready to contact a recruiter:
- Be selective, do not “blast” your resume
- Personalize your initial contact
- Be ready with a brief, directed introduction
- Include an MS Word or RTF version of your resume
When speaking with a recruiter:
- Discuss their specialty to understand how closely your interests fit their specialty
- Find out what you can do to assist them in assisting you
- Be open and forthright in providing information
- Know there are a finite number of outcomes – 1) you fit a job they are working on, 2) they have clients that may be interested in what you have to offer, 3) you fit their specialty but do not have anything for you today so they will put you into their system, 4) they cannot help you.
When actively working with a recruiter:
- Know what you are looking for
- Make sure you are always in a position to make a decision
- Prompt follow up
- Follow through on commitments
- Use honest and open communication
- Be coachable
- Be an active participant in the process
- Respect the process
Because recruiters are contacted by hundreds of people every year, they cannot get back to or help everyone that contacts them. By following the steps outlined above, you will be better positioned to establish a relationship with a recruiter.