Don’t try working with too many recruiters at once. Although it can be tempting to think more recruiters means more opportunities, ideally, it is best to just work with one or two. This will help you avoid spreading yourself too thin and losing the respect of the recruiters. You don’t want your value to be diminished because you don’t have the time to effectively communicate with them. Don’t forget honesty is a two-way street. Just like you should never settle for a relationship with a recruiter who isn’t willing to be honest with you, you also shouldn’t lie to your recruiter. For example, a good recruiter will let you know what company he or she is working with early in the process. In return, you should be up front about what you’re looking for and what your compensation expectations are. Those are key things a recruiter needs to know in order to present positions that will be attractive to you. Don’t neglect the Golden Rule. Remember your recruiter values his or her reputation just as much as you value yours. Don’t embarrass yourself and your recruiter by being unprepared or irresponsible – don’t back out of interviews at the last minute or neglect to prepare when the recruiter provides you with preparation information. A good recruiter wants to help you out, and will be much better equipped to do that if you are honest about your expectations and concerns. Remember to communicate with your recruiter and call him or her back after an interview, even if you feel that it didn’t go well. The relationship should be mutual and courteous. Do maintain a respectful relationship, even if things don’t go as planned. Even if you don’t choose to accept the job offer the recruiter submitted you for, follow up and be honest about why. A good recruiter will respect your decision and want to maintain the relationship in the long run. If your recruiter makes you feel badly about your decision, they are not someone you want to work with in the future. It is important that your recruiter is able to you show empathy and understanding. Do follow the advice of a recruiter you trust. If you have chosen a good recruiter, and you feel that you trust them, use that to your advantage. If he or she offers you advice on how to present yourself to a client, prepare accordingly. Remember, they already know the client that you are interviewing with and can give you an idea of the company culture and expectations. Or prepare yourself even better by having your recruiter conduct mock interviews with you and give feedback – this is just one example of the valuable help a recruiter can provide that can be hard to find anywhere else. Do remember that your recruiter is a bridge between you and your next employer. If you have questions about something that you don’t feel comfortable asking in the interview, ask your recruiter. Recruiters can troubleshoot for you and take on some of the difficult situations. A good recruiter exposes you to the best jobs out there, while cutting away the red tape. By working with a recruiter, you shouldn’t have to fill out hundreds of job applications. A good recruiter should have the ability to create a “profile” for you with one application process, saving you time and hassle.
Remember the quality of service a recruiter can provide is dependent on the relationship the two of you have. It is important to have a two-way relationship so the recruiter will better understand your availability, compensation expectations and career interests. A good recruiter can reduce the time of your job search when you give them the information they need to find what you want. That two-way relationship allows your recruiter to give you personalized attention.
Just like any other profession, recruiting professionals can be good and bad. The key to finding a good recruiter is by knowing what you want and building that relationship. Once you do that, the benefits will be a hundred fold. These relationships can last for your entire career – I have relationships today with candidates I placed over 20 years ago. The key is to find someone who you can ask candid questions and get honest answers in return. A good recruiter will be happy to give advice, even if they aren’t in a position to place you. By taking the time today to build that relationship today, not only will you likely enjoy immediate rewards, but you may also find yourself benefiting from the relationship in the far future.