Does Working With a Recruiter Make Sense?

Question: Does working with a recruiter benefit your job search? I tried working with one, but I never heard back. 

I admit, I have been skeptical in the past.  A few of my past clients have secured work through working with a recruiter. But several clients expressed doubt that working with a recruiter was beneficial. 

But I have had a change of heart towards recruiters. My brother recently transitioned to a job through a recruiter.  He was not looking for work when they approached him but has been happy with his new placement. Then I listened to a presentation by McNeill Nakamoto, a boutique recruiting firm in Vancouver.  In the presentation, owner, Cheryl Nakamoto, shared some key insights on how job seekers can better use recruiters in their job search.

Here are some of her suggestions for connecting with and working with a recruiter. 

Know your job target.  This is a golden rule in job search in general. If you apply to ten different positions through the agency, the recruiter can see that. In Cheryl’s words, “Don’t be a wandering generality.  You need to specialize!”

Let your personality show in your application.  It’s not just about skills anymore. Companies also place value on making sure that the potential candidate would fit into their company culture.

Access the hidden job market to connect with recruiters.  Get out and talk to people.  Check what recruitment agencies are most utilized in your community and professional networks/ associations. Get active on your social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.   The more you connected you are, the easier it will be for a recruiter to find you.

Pay attention to your social media.  Recruiters use social media (especially LinkedIn) to source candidates. They also use social media to do informal background checks. It’s worthwhile to spend some time getting your LinkedIn profile to an all-star status. And in the meantime, make sure that your social media profiles are squeaky clean.

Use a chronological resume. Within the resume, make sure that you list your most recent work experience first. If you do have gaps in your work history, find a way to account for that time so that it does not generate any red flags.

Share your wage expectations.  A recruiter can help you negotiate with the employer but they will not be able to help you if you don’t tell.  The recruiter gets paid by an employer when they make a good match. By knowing salary expectation, the recruiter can then negotiate on your behalf. 

Honor the recruiter’s relationship with the employer. The recruiter has worked hard to build a relationship with the employer. You should let them handle the communication with the potential employer. If you want to send a follow-up email or thank you card, check in with the recruiter to determine the best way to do that. 

To find a list of recruiter agencies in the Metro Vancouver, click here.