Working with recruiters can be an extremely beneficial way to find a new job–they often have connections and access to opportunities not available to the general public. Based on their relationships with hiring managers, recruiters can also get your foot in the door for positions otherwise difficult to break into on your own. They're in the know and have seen it all–consider them job-seeking experts.
The team at ResumeSpice, a resume writing and career coaching service developed by recruiters, has put together a list of six things recruiters wish job seekers knew. Save yourself a lot of time and rejection by taking this expert advice to heart.
Be specific about what you want.
Recruiters are professional matchmakers. They take your criteria for in a position and match you with the position that best fits your needs. For example, while saying you want to find a project management role is a good starting point, saying you want a project management role for an oil and gas company, that you’re interested in global projects, and that you would consider expatriate work is a better way to go.
It may be counterintuitive, but an attempt to appear “flexible” could be interpreted as unfocused. Recruiters will have a better sense of where to start if they’re not left guessing for details.
You don’t have to email them every day.
Recruiters love making a matches between employers and candidates. It’s the basis of their entire job, so a good recruiter will keep you in the loop on where you stand and will provide updates as they arise. It’s not necessary for candidates to call or email every day. Most recruiters will recommend a weekly or bi-weekly email for temporary assignments and every 2-3 weeks for direct hire positions.
Don’t take rejection personally.
You win some, you lose some. Roll with the punches. Tomorrow’s another day. While we’re all familiar with those adages, being rejected is still never easy. A recruiter can do everything they can to try to convince a hiring manager that you’re the perfect for a role–but at the end of the day, the employer makes the decision and sometimes they don’t tell the recruiter why. It’s best to move on and focus your effort on the next role.
Have an updated and ready-to-submit resume.
The demise of the resume has been severely overstated. Always have one at the ready. Recruiters will typically offer insight on how you can tighten your resume, but actually reformatting and rewriting your resume is up to you. If you need help strengthening your resume, a professional resume writing service may be the best route to take.
Be on your best behavior.
Companies pay recruiting and staffing agencies to find their most skilled talent, so always treat recruiters as you would any employer. They understand that you may be frustrated as you look for a job and most are happy to lend advice during a difficult job search, but it’s never a good idea to vent your frustrations at a recruiter. Treat them poorly and they’re unlikely to present you to their clients.
There’s on time and there’s way too early.
Because you want to impress a recruiter, it’s natural to want to arrive promptly for your scheduled meeting. However, there’s a fine line between arriving early and arriving on time. A good rule to follow is to not to check in more than 10 minutes before your scheduled time. Sure, arrive early so that you’re not rushed and panicked when you walk in the door, but respect that most recruiters are not going to be able to see you thirty minutes before your scheduled meeting.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list of everything recruiters wish you knew, but it should help ensure you’re on the proper path to success when it comes to keeping a great relationship with your recruiter.
Savannah Ober is a resume writer and career consultant at ResumeSpice. In addition to being a resume expert, Savannah is also an experienced corporate communications professional, working with one of the world’s largest global companies. Savannah has written recruiting advertisements for trade publications, created marketing collateral, written press releases and blogs, and developed social media content. Savannah holds a BA in English, creative writing.
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