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How to Work with a Recruiter (Job Seeker Perspective)
The average person spends 90,000 hours of their lifetime at work.
You might want to read that again.
This reality underscores the importance of finding a career that you love and want to grow in over time. Because while your next job probably won’t be the one you hold for the rest of your life (at least statistically speaking), finding the right steppingstones in your career journey is essential.
Thankfully, you don’t need to walk the path alone. Recruiters can help!
A great recruiter listens to your needs, offers feedback on your cover letter and resume, helps you prepare for interviews, and lets you in on details about a company. But here’s the thing; it’s not a one-way street. As a job seeker, you’ve got to take an active role in the process. And the better recruiters get to know you, the better they can match you to potential job opportunities.
Not sure how to start? Here’s how to work with a recruiter.
Be transparent with your recruiter
If you want your recruiter to help match you with the best available opportunities, it’s essential that you are transparent and honest. So, share the following information with them:
- Location: How long are you comfortable commuting? Are you willing to relocate?
- Office dynamic: Do you prefer working as part of a large or small team? What kind of leadership do you respond to best?
- Likes and dislikes: What did you find thrilling (and lackluster) about past jobs? What are you most passionate about when it comes to work?
- Skills: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Are there certain skills you hope to gain? Skills you’d like to improve upon or refine?
Offering insights like these will help your recruiter narrow down choices for you. Share job postings that catch your eye and give examples of opportunities that are up your alley.
Stay in touch with your recruiter
Think back to high school or college. Remember how important forging a relationship with your instructor was? Likewise, when a recruiter sees you going the extra mile, they’ll go the extra mile for you!
- Don’t wait for the recruiter to contact you. If you don’t hear from them for longer than you might hope, give them a friendly ring or drop them an email.
- Share any potential jobs you’ve found and ask for feedback about recent interviews or applications.
- Don’t avoid your recruiter’s calls, even if you suspect there might be bad news. Stay “top of mind” with regular communication.
Judge Protip: Naturally, there’s a fine line here. It’s important that you respect boundaries, since recruiters are often very busy. If you get the feeling you might be overdoing it, it’s always fair to ask how much communication is helpful.
Be honest and respectful
If you don’t want to go to an interview, let your recruiter know! If you love the job but the hours are problematic, tell your recruiter the truth! Don’t fail to show up to a scheduled interview or leave your new job without first talking to your recruiter about it. This will reflect poorly on both you and your recruiter — and it may strain the relationship. They would rather you turn down an interview for good reasons than to not show at all, which damages relationships with you, the recruiter, and client.
Thank your recruiter
After they’ve helped you successfully land a new job, send them a thank you note, email, or a handwritten letter. They’ve spent a lot of time working with you and they’ll appreciate it! Warm fuzzies aside, you can also publicly praise them on LinkedIn — expanding your network and growing your connections.
Keep them in your professional network
Even though you won’t have regular contact with your recruiter after securing your new job, they are now part of your professional network. Here again, LinkedIn is a great way to stay in touch and interact from a distance. Let your recruiter know how your new job has been, and what has excited you most. From a contractor perspective, stay in touch with your recruiter about how things are going, if you hear of changes or end dates, or projects are being pushed back or moved up.
You never know when you might want to start a new adventure — and maintaining a relationship with your recruiter can be extremely beneficial.
Conclusion: How to Work with a Recruiter (Job Seeker Perspective)
Recruiters can make a world of difference in your job-hunting process. If you maintain professionalism throughout, the relationship you cultivate can be mutually beneficial now and in the future. Water it and watch it bloom!
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