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  • Keith Stewart

5 Tips for Successfully Working with a Recruiter

Updated: Oct 24, 2022


Whether you're actively or passively searching for a new job (or even if you’re not looking at all), working with a recruiter can sometimes be the difference between getting a great job opportunity vs never even knowing that job exists. The reason: nearly 70% of open jobs are never posted online. Those jobs are directly sourced and filled by recruiters, who have the inside scoop on these jobs, and are trusted to provide screened and verified candidates.


For these opportunities, a recruiter may casually reach out to you and present an opportunity that they feel you might be a good fit for. They open the door to possibilities that may not be available to you otherwise. They’ve done the initial work, but now need some cooperation and additional information from you.


Since this is a cold contact, if you are not interested in an opportunity presented to you, its ok to say it up front. They’ll appreciate it and move on. However, if you are interested in the opportunity, there are a few tips that will help you, and the recruiter, land that role.


These are the 5 tips for successfully working with a recruiter.



1. Know what you want (and don’t want!)


The recruiter is coming to you and presenting an opportunity they think is a good fit. Only you know for sure if that’s the case. You need to know what you want, and what you don’t want, to do for work, and clearly communicate that to the recruiter. They want a successful placement, and can only do so by knowing if the opportunity is truly in line with your skills, capabilities, and desires.



2. Keep your resume current


Recruiters learn about you from social media and online searches. Some may even have your resume from a database. They’ll almost always ask you for a current copy of your resume. It is critical that you keep your resume up to date throughout your career – adding accomplishments and accolades as they happen so you don’t forget. In this particular situation, by having a current resume at your fingertips, a recruiter can quickly review your achievements and schedule a call with you sooner rather than later. In the recruiting game, speed is everything.



3. Keep your commitments


Recruiters go through a lot of preparation to get you in front of a prospective employer. If an interview is scheduled for you and you agree to attend, please keep your commitment. If something comes up, or something changes, communicate that with your recruiter as soon as possible. Honesty will go a long way towards working on future opportunities as well.



4. Work together


A recruiter represents the employer and the opportunity they’re trying to fill. They are learning about you, the candidate, quickly and with little information. Help paint a more complete picture by sharing all pertinent career information with your recruiter, so they can highlight the important things you might not think of. Discuss what you like, don’t like, where your strengths and weaknesses are, etc. Recruiters will use that to position you in the best possible way, guide you on how to address potential negatives, and how to answer tough questions.



5. Be available


Speaking with recruiters can be tough if you are currently working. Communicate the best methods of contact: home or cell phone, email, texting, social media messaging, etc. with your recruiter, including the times you are available. Recruiting is a time-sensitive process, and decisions are often made so quickly that a call or email unanswered for even just a couple of hours could be the difference between getting an interview and getting bypassed.




All in all, working with a recruiter can be extremely beneficial in many ways. However, successful outcomes rarely happen if tips like these are ignored or only partially adhered to.


Best of luck!

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