How to Make the Most of Your Relationship with a Recruiter

November 7, 2017

When on the job hunt, it can be easy to become so invested in finding a new career or position that communication with others falls by the wayside. While it makes sense to want to dedicate time to researching and applying to positions on your own, making sure that you’re using your time in the most effective way possible is also valuable. Working with a recruiter can be one of the most important parts of a transitional phase--and there’s a right way to build a relationship with a recruiter, as well as tips and tricks to make the most of it.

6 steps to make the most of your relationship with a recruiter:

1. Make sure you have your phone number in your signature for them to reach you immediately with job opportunities.
Even if you’re speaking with someone through LinkedIn or another professional medium, you want to be certain that your information is as available and easy to see as possible. You don’t want to lose out on an opportunity because of a few missing digits!

2. Be clear about when you are available, and be accessible.
Making sure that the recruiter you’re working with knows when you’re available for freelance work and if you have any prior commitments or vacations planned is helpful. Job placement is as much about timing as it is about fit--so keeping in touch with your recruiter frequently, and letting them know if you’ll be unavailable for spans of time or certain hours or days is extremely important. In addition, be sure to follow up with them about positions you’ve pursued. The more accessible you are, especially if you are on the market and looking, the more quickly you might be hired. Responding to your recruiter in a timely manner can put you in the lead. Who knows? This kind of clear and open communication could put you at the right place at the right time!

3. Stay involved.
Keep your recruiter in the loop about interviews you’ve had, your progress on applications, and life changes. Your recruiter needs to know about anything significant in your professional life, or even your personal life, that might affect your ability to interview or land a job they’ve helped you find. Your recruiter will appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Don’t view your recruiter relationship as one sided either. Make sure that you give as well as take. Offer as much context as you can surrounding your own job-related wants and needs. Your recruiter wants to place you in a job, after all--that’s how they get paid.

4. Treat every interaction professionally.
The way that you speak and act is a reflection of who you are both personally and professionally. Simple behaviors as small as how you answer the phone and what tone of voice you use can speak volumes. You always want to be mindful that you’re show up to interviews on time, speaking professionally, and being courteous. Recruiters want to know how you will present yourself to their client, and are taking mental notes about the interactions you have.

5. Be open and flexible about job tasks, duration, and compensation.
Keep in mind that there are compromises that have to be made sometimes. Your recruiter might help you find a job that has your desired salary, but may require a longer commute. You might discover a position you love, but feel off-put that it’s a contract position. A company might speak to you as a whole, but the role being offered doesn’t completely align with your career vision. These are all normal, and the more open and flexible you are, the more opportunities you will find. It’s great to have goals, but make sure they’re not too strict so you don’t pass up an amazing opportunity. Your recruiter will work with you to figure out what compromises are realistic and unrealistic--take it all with a grain of salt!

6. Most importantly, be honest and be yourself.
If a job doesn’t sound right for you, let your recruiter know. It doesn’t help anyone to take on something you aren’t qualified for or don’t care about.