Working with a recruiter can be a crucial piece of the job search puzzle. From exposure to Fortune 500 employers to a larger pool of available positions, there are a number of benefits to working with recruiters. However, it’s important to find the right recruiter who can assist you throughout the process and help maximize your success. Just as you would research potential employers and positions, you should put in as much effort into finding the right recruiter to partner with to ensure you find the job you want and need. As an Executive Search Consultant with Lucas Group, I always encourage my candidates to do their homework when choosing an executive search firm/recruiter and have compiled the following tips on how to work with recruiters:

Look at their backgrounds

A good place to start is by looking at recruiters’ backgrounds on LinkedIn. Make sure they’re experienced, especially within your specific niche, and are familiar with the market where you’re located. Find a recruiter with a significant amount of tenure both in the industry and with their current search firm. You want someone who is reputable and who works for a reputable firm. Also, be sure their skills and background align with yours and where you want to take your career. For example, if you’re searching for an HR job in Houston, I wouldn’t recommend working with an IT recruiter who works in Florida. If you want to work for a particular company, ask the recruiter if he or she has a current contract with that company as well as how many people they have placed there in the past year. This will help determine whether or not the recruiter is a good fit and help determine the level of credibility and leverage they have with a specific organization.

Check references

Read referrals and references on LinkedIn to see what type of candidates the recruiter has worked with in the past and the caliber of their clients. These will also give you a better idea into their recruiting approach and methodology. Find someone who you think will provide what you need and be a valuable resource to you throughout the entire process. By checking references and referrals, you can gain some insight into the recruiter’s personality, former candidate pool and work ethic.

Find a reciprocal relationship

Look for a recruiter who will respect your time and your efforts. Prior to submitting your resume, a recruiter should ask your permission before sending anything to a potential employer. A professional recruiter should also provide timely feedback as well as written documentation to you as to where your resume has been submitted and for what position. This will help you keep track of your applications and organize the job search process, especially if you are working with more than one recruiter. Also, your recruiter should be willing to meet you in person to get a better feel for your personality so he or she can determine a good cultural fit for you.

Aligning yourself with the right partner and resource can make or break the job search process. Do you have experience working with a recruiter? Leave a comment in the fields below.


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