10 tips for working with recruiters

Recruiters can be extremely helpful to candidates in their job searches.  This is especially true if candidates follow these 10 tips for working with a recruiter. Through my years in recruiting and placement, I’ve seen candidates who employed these tactics be very successful.

1)   Sincerity: Be honest, genuine and sincere regarding your intentions to change jobs.  Recruiters want to work with job seekers who are sincere about changing jobs.  If you are just “thinking about “ changing jobs, share that with the recruiter and make a future ally for when the time comes that you really want to change positions.

2.)   Know your priorities: Be direct and clear about what your priorities are for your next position.  The more clear you are with a recruiter the more they can help you.  Your priorities should include work content desired, geography, commute, industry, cultural fit, work hours, any special needs and salary requirements (base pay, bonus and any relocation assistance required).

3.)   Know your strengths:  Tell the recruiter what your strengths are.  Be able to clearly share your strongest skills , including technically, interpersonally and in leadership attributes.

4.)   Be a STAR:  Be ready to share your best accomplishments in a STAR format:  What was a Situation you faced.  Task – What did you have to achieve?  Action – what action did you take?  This does not refer to the team – but what did you do individually?  Result – What was the result of your action.  If the result is quantifiable it is that much clearer and meaningful.

5.)   Have a Resume that Rocks: Winning resumes are well designed, and use  proper grammar and spelling.  They list responsibilities and accomplishments and focus  on the most recent positions.  Sentences are succinct and avoid jargon.  Check out the free software at www.fightthebull.com to ensure your writing is authentic and jargon-free.

6.)   Focus on communication:  Gain mutual commitment regarding methods and timings of communication with you.

7.)   Build chemistry and trust: Be sure you have acceptable chemistry and trust with the recruiter.  If chemistry and trust are absent, attempt to communicate your concerns with the recruiter and improve the situation.  If it still not acceptable – do not use that recruiter again.

8.)   Clarify expectations : Ensure expectations are clear.  Ask the recruiter for genuine feedback on your marketability and ask them to be real – and not to give you false hopes and expectations.  Ask if the recruiter thinks they can get you an interview. Ask what you can do to improve your chances for an interview.

9.)   Be reasonable: Have realistic expectations regarding your next position.   The best candidates are moving to new positions to work with a stronger company or because they are blocked in gaining expertise and substantive work growth in their current positions.

10.)  Understand your motivations: If you are moving for money or lack of appreciation in your current position – have that discussion with your Manager before you start the search.  Know where you are before you start so you can make the job search productive.