This is part two of a three part series: In last week’s blog I talked about the importance of engaging a recruiter in your specific industry. Now I’d like to focus on the ways in which you can best work with a recruiter to maximize your opportunities. If you haven’t read the first post, you can catch it here.

Know Your Recruiter

You have identified a recruiter online or been referred to one by a colleague.  This person’s profile appears to match your industry or your profession and seems to be a good fit for you and your career.  Hit the pause button.  Before you start working with a recruiter, you should interview them as much as they interview you.  Make sure you have good chemistry with that recruiter.  You’ll want to work with someone with whom you feel you have mutual respect.

There are two key truths you need to keep in mind when working with a recruiter:

A recruiter is paid to help a company find the right candidate for a specific job.  Recruiters are not paid by the candidate to find a job.  

There’s a big difference.  If you don’t understand, take the time right now to re-read that again.

Honesty, for Real

Be totally honest with the recruiter.  Tell them everything.  Good and bad.  It’s not our place to chastise you, but we need to know the truth about everything.  Whether it’s your base salary, your potential bonus, your education, your job description, your dates of employment.  Share it all (even why you were let go).  Recruiters are paid to find out, so we would rather hear it from you than from another source.

A good recruiter will double-check everything, and if something doesn’t jive, there will be consequences.  Also have your resume littered with accomplishments – not just day to day job responsibilities.  Tell about your successes and the impactful differences you’ve personally made. And (important!) don’t take credit for someone else’s accolades.  We’ll be checking those facts, too.

Exclusivity, No

No recruiter should demand exclusivity from you.  In fact, I recommend that every candidate have two or three recruiters that they confer with and trust.  I would love to be the sole recruiter in Account Management recruiting, but I would be severely naive to believe no other recruiters can do what I do.

The truth is, I cannot possibly know about every job in every agency.  But, if I do tell you about a job, I would hope that you respect our partnership as much as I do and not divulge to other recruiters what position(s) we’re discussing.  I, in turn, will not tell any company about your candidacy unless I get your prior authorization.  Confidentiality is key for both of us, and it is a must in order for us to successfully work together.

In my third and final post in this series, I’ll address moving from ideas and discussion to actually making a move.  How you act and how you proceed during the course of a job search will directly affect not only the outcome of the immediate search, but perhaps future career moves as well.