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How to Work With a Recruiter

How to Work With a Recruiter

Kayla Baxter | AdminSecret

August 14, 2009

Recruiters can seem like demons that pick out all your worst qualities, or they can be like job-providing angels sent down from heaven; in either situation, if you’re retaining their services for free, you’re probably a job-seeker and you could be totally in the dark about whether they can really get you a job.

The key to working with a recruiter is to have accurate expectations. While it is true that a recruiter can be incredibly helpful in helping someone get a job, it is important to understand a few things in order to avoid a disappointing outcome.

Understanding Recruiters

First of all, recruiters don’t work for you. Companies hire recruiters to find and retain the best possible applicant for a certain position. Before a recruiter even meets you, he or she will have an image in their mind about what your qualifications need to be to fit their client’s wishes. Therefore, if for some reason they don’t call you back, then you don’t match that exact image – don’t take it personally. If your résumé’s keywords match what the company is looking for, then you will be contacted, usually immediately. If your résumé keywords do not match, then it’s not unusual for the recruiter to not get back to you at all, which is where the typical jobseeker gets confused and hurt. The thing you must understand as a job seeker is that recruiters are receiving hundreds of résumés per day – if they responded to each résumé, it would keep someone from getting hired for sheer lack of time in a day.

Recruiters nowadays keep a digital database containing every applicant that has ever sent a résumé. Many times, you will not be a perfect match for the recruiter at that particular time, which is of course frustrating. However, keep in mind that your relationship with a recruiter is something built over time. That résumé that you sent in – and the updated résumés that you should send in over the length of your career – stays in the database so that if your dream job (which matches all your qualifications) should become open, that recruiter can let you know about it.

Recruiters do not work with career-changers. Your past experiences are the only information they have to pitch you to the employer as a potential fit. Recruiters are expected by their clients to find people who are an exact match for the position and who are currently working in their field. If you are looking to make a career transition (i.e. sales to PR), then skip connecting with recruiters. Same goes if you are seeking an entry-level job.

If you are looking to make a slight shift into a parallel industry (i.e. tech PR to consumer PR) or a different type of position in the same industry, then a recruiter may be able to help you.

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