How to work with a recruiter


Recruiters tend to get a bit of a bad rap and are often clubbed together with estate agents, as those people you deal with because you have to, rather than because you want to.

We feel that’s a little unfair and a few bad apples have tarnished the reputation of a whole profession. Just like their housing counterparts, recruiters can have a massive impact on your life. As one global recruitment firm puts it ‘the right job can transform a person’s life’ and that’s something we strongly believe in.

How can you work with a recruiter and help them, to help you find your next role…

1. Be clear – before you start, make it clear what you do and don’t want. Let them know the types of roles you’re interested in, the salary you’re expecting, the industries you think are a good match and also the locations you’d be willing to work in. However, remember to be realistic in your expectations, using estate agents as an example, don’t go in asking for a 10-bed detached house when all you can afford is a 2-bed flat.

2. Have your CV ready – take time and effort to get your CV right before you approach any recruiters. This is your shop window so make sure it highlights your best achievements. Remember recruiters see hundreds of CVs a day so take their advice. If they suggest a few subtle tweaks to your CV or LinkedIn profile then listen to them, don’t be offended they know what they’re talking about. Check out our CV writing tips…

3. Be respectful – while the decision to hire you or not isn’t down to the recruiter… the decision on whether to put your forward as a candidate or not, is. Treat any correspondence or meetings with them as if it were with the hiring organisation. Be responsive to emails and phone calls, dress appropriately and be on time for any interviews and meetings.

4. Keep in touch – we’re not suggesting you become best buddies and call them every day but prior to the interview, it’s worth giving them a quick call, asking for any advice or information they could share that might help. Regardless of whether it was a resounding success or a disaster, it’s always good to call post-interview and give your opinion on how it went. If you’ve not heard anything don’t be afraid to call and follow up, but try not to hound them with daily calls and messages!

5. Stay connected – LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected to recruiters. It will allow you to see what roles they’re recruiting for (assuming they post this on LinkedIn) and gives them instant access to your most up-to-date CV (your LinkedIn profile). A good recruiter can help you throughout your career, you never know when you might need them again in the future.

‘How to work with a recruiter’ was written by Lesley Colella, Career Concierge, Chiumento Ltd. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

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