7 Tips for Working With a Recruiter in Your Job Search

Does working with a recruiter benefit your job search?

I admit, I’ve been skeptical in the past.  Over the years, many of my clients have shared their disappointment in working with recruiters, often complaining that they did not hear back after an initial contact. When clients ask if it’s worth their time to work with recruiter, I’ve suggested that it could be a part of their job search, but should not be relied on as their primary job search method.

Recently I’ve had a change of heart towards recruiters. My brother was transitioned successfully to a job through a recruiter.  He wasn’t even looking for work at the time and has been very happy with his new placement. After attending a presentation by a boutique recruiting firm in Vancouver, I was even more convinced that working with a recruiter could be a worthy use of time.  Cheryl Nakamoto from McNeill Nakamoto shared some insights on how job seekers can effectively use recruiters in their job search.

Here are some of her suggestions:

Know your job target.  This is a golden rule in job search in general. Keep in mind that a recruiter can see if you have applied to the ten different positions that they are advertising for.  In Cheryl’s words, “Don’t be a wandering generality.  You need to specialize!”

Let your personality show.  It’s not just about skills anymore. Companies also place value on making sure that the potential candidate would be a good cultural fit.

Access the hidden job market.  Get out and talk to people.  Look to your community and professional networks/ associations. In particular, start to utilize your social media accounts such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook as a way to generate connections.  The more you are connected, the easier it will be for a recruiter to find you.

Pay attention to social media.  Recruiters use social media (especially LinkedIn) to source candidates, but they are also using it to do some 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 on behalf of the recruiter.

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 wants a good match between you and the company as that’s how they get paid so they want you to be happy, too.

Honor the recruiter’s relationship with the employer.  It is common courtesy to let the recruiter 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 most appropriate action.  The recruiter often has long-standing relationships with the employers and can help you navigate the best way to build the relationship.

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

Kristin Vandegriend is a Career Coach and Resume Writer at Career Story. With over 10+ years of experience in HR and career development, she has successfully worked with hundreds of clients to find meaningful and sustainable work. Her passion is helping clients identify career paths and creative job search strategies that leverage and market their personal strengths and resilience.  Connect with her on TwitterLinkedIn or Facebook.