How to work with a recruiter – guidance for the job seeker

It can be hard to know how to work with a recruiter – you want to get them on your side. The best way to know what to do is to listen to the voice of the recruiter. Read on for advice from some top recruiters.

Heather Bellingham, Talent Acquisition Lead at Bonfire Interactive

  • Be prepared. Demonstrate that you have done your research on the company.
  • Be clear on how this role that you are applying for fits with your career goals.
  • Be honest about your blind spots or where you want to improve. This shows coach-ability, and that you’re self-aware. Use examples of when you actually learned something or took constructive feedback and actioned it to become better at your job.
  • If you’re trying to move into a new career path, show that you’ve already taken some steps to educate yourself. Let it be known that you have done your reading and what you have learned from this.
  • Show enthusiasm in how you communicate – make it clear why you want the job and why the recruiter should spend time talking with you.
  • Only follow up once, if the recruiter wants to get in touch with you they will.

Doug Harrington, Partner and Recruiter at Austin Professional Search

The best way that you can help the recruiter is to

  • Ensure your CV accurately shows your qualifications
  • Be honest with their answers to the recruiter, hiring team etc.
  • Be available for interview(s)
  • Provide prompt feedback on any and all contacts with the hiring team.

As a recruiter, I prefer candidates don’t

  • Try to contact the client or hiring team directly
  • Say something like “just get me in front of your client and I’ll get the job”
  • Ignore a request by client and/or recruiter for feedback.

Ron Beck, Healthcare Leadership & IT Recruitment at Carecor Health Services Ltd.

  • Communicate WHY this vacancy is right for you, in a compelling and relevant fashion. Briefly explain why the job is a great match to your experience, credentials and motivation.
  • Proofread your CV in the early stages, as about one-third of the resumes and cover letters received contain errors of some sort.
  • Respond to messages from the recruiter in a timely fashion.
  • Resist the temptation to contact the recruiter frequently. Phone oe email a maximum of once a week.
  • Do not contact the hiring manager directly, going around the recruiter, as that is disrespectful and may have negative side effects.

In Summary

Recruiters share similar perspectives on candidate’s dos and don’ts.

  1. Respecting the recruiter’s relationship with their client cannot be understated. Going directly to the employer can be perceived as disrespectful by both the recruiter and the employer.
  2. Contacting the recruiter to follow up must be done thoughtfully and respectfully and while each recruiter will have his or her own preferences, it seems that once per week is reasonable until the candidate receives an offer or a rejection.
  3. The perennial issue of CV quality is critical to getting through the doors of any organization and having the CV proofed carefully is a must in order to be successful.

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