Here are 7 tips on how to successfully work with a recruiter:
1. Do your homework! You need to research which firms specialize in your career field. If you are changing careers, then you should contact firms that specialize in your desired career area. Ask the receptionist to define their firm’s specialty. If it is your career area, ask to please speak with a recruiter. If not, ask them for a referral to other firms that do handle your career area.
2. When you get a recruiter on the phone, offer to send them your resume and cover letter. Recruiters like to see your experience before they actually interview you! Usually, a recruiter has a good idea whether or not they can represent you. A good recruiter will be honest with you either way. Neither of you wants to waste any time. When you send your information to a recruiter you should:
a. Summarize your marketable characteristics in your cover letter.
b. Clearly state your target market (geographic, area, industry and position) and your salary range.
c. State your key selling points, your summary and most importantly your accomplishments! Recruiters will sell your accomplishments to their clients.
d. Attach a list of professional references. You should include 1 or 2 personal references, but you should have at least four professional references. Also, don’t list an HR Department as one of your references. They are restricted legally on what they can say, and will often only verify dates of employment and if you are eligible for re-hire. You need to go to the person who was your direct boss and ask them to be one of your listed references. If you left that position on good terms, most people want to help you with your job search. Many recruiters will use your references to book interviews for you or to remove any concerns a client may have about you or your experience.
3. Be honest! Search firms will check your professional references. Your recruiter will find out if you have something in your past, (e.g., getting let go on bad terms). If you have not been honest, your recruiter won’t trust you and your working relationship will often end at this point. If you are honest with them, they will try to help you handle it in the most positive way. A recruiter’s reputation is at stake with every single candidate they choose to represent!
4. This may come as a surprise, but don’t call your recruiter on a regular basis! Follow-up is great in most situations. With a recruiter, follow-up calls prevent them from being on their phones searching for your next career move. I suggest that you send them a short e-mail message every two weeks. Please do not take it personal if a recruiter does not get back to you. Be confident that they are doing everything possible to find you a job!
5. The ideal situation is to seek out a recruiter that is professional, represents reputable corporations, has tenure with their firm, is honest with you and most importantly, someone you can trust with your career! You want to find an agent/recruiter that you can build a relationship with and feel confident that they have your best interest at heart.
6. Make sure that your recruiter has all of your contact information! With today’s technology, you should be reachable immediately following your interview. Recruiters expect you to be accessible at all times, in case they get a last minute interview for you.
7. Make yourself readily available for interviews! If a recruiter books an interview with one of their clients, make it happen! Clients are busy and do not like to work around your schedule! Never cancel an interview! If you cancel, that is the client’s first impression of you. Make sure you have good communication with your recruiter to prevent negative situations.
A search firm is an excellent way to find your next opportunity! With your recruiter, you are working as a team, not as an individual! If you take the time to research your search firms and find a recruiter that you like and trust, this method of job searching can be very effective.
Not only will a recruiter help you find your next opportunity, they will also keep in mind your future and long-term goals. In time, you can view your Recruiter as your LIFETIME AGENT!
Excerpt taken from our book, Don’t Interview… Audition. To order, or for more information click HERE