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Whether you contact a recruiter yourself or happen to hear from one through LinkedIn, an email, or a phone call, you should be prepared beforehand — so today we’re sharing tips on how to work with a recruiter. We’ve collected seven great tips on how best to use a recruiter, including some directly from Corporette readers — and we’d love to hear more in the comments!
First, a quick LinkedIn tip: Make sure you’ve selected “Open to Work” feature on your profile. You can choose whether everyone on LinkedIn or solely recruiters can see that you’re interested in hearing about job opportunities. (The site tries to prevent recruiters at your employer from seeing this.)
For all the details, check out the “Open to Work” help page. One reader noted that she heard from a recruiter the day after she turned the feature on! Also, make sure your profile contains the words/phrases that a recruiter in your field would search for.
7 Great Tips on How to Work with a Recruiter
1. Don’t provide your resume until the recruiter has found a specific opportunity you’re interested in. If they start sharing your resume, it’s more likely that your employer will find out that you’re job hunting. In the meantime, the recruiter can use your LinkedIn profile information and the info you’ve given them via email or phone.
2. Speaking of resumes, ask to review the final version of your resume before a recruiter submits it to an employer. One reader mentioned hearing horror stories in which recruiters substantially changed a candidate’s resume and then shared it without notifying them (eek).
3. Consider only using recruiters whom your friends or colleagues have personally. Not all recruiters will have your best interests in mind, of course, and not all recruiters are as ethical as you’d hope.
4. If a recruiter reaches out with a position you’re not interested in leaving your job for, but you’d consider making a move for the right opportunity in the future, tell them, and ask them to keep you in mind. You can also say that you’re not actively looking but would like to hear more about a particular opportunity.
Treat it like an informational interview — and get some practice talking about your skills and accomplishments. Simultaneously use it to screen a recruiter by seeing how well-informed they are about an opportunity beyond what’s in a job description.
Psst: here are some of our latest posts on job hunting!
5. Remember that a recruiter is going to get paid if you take a job, so that’s their angle. Do your own research, ask targeted questions, and take what they say with a grain of salt sometimes. Brace yourself for recruiters’ sales-y tactics.
6. Be aware that companies (especially smaller ones) may prefer candidates who apply directly — that way, they can avoid paying a recruiter fee. On the other hand, recruiters may be able to inform you of job openings that haven’t been listed on employers’ websites.
7. Work with at least two recruiter firms — but not too many. One might not be enough for you to learn about enough opportunities, but if you work with several at once, it can become challenging to keep track of where you heard about various job openings, etc., and duplicates will become more common.
Readers, do you have advice to share on how to work with a recruiter? Have you ever been hired after working with a recruiter? What do you think led to your success?
Stock image via Deposit Photos / monkeybusiness.
Psst: These are some of our favorite books if you’re considering changing your career: