Job Search: Working With Recruiters

careersIn my last post I mentioned that both my husband and I had started searching for new positions. During this last few weeks we’ve been diligently managing the many aspects of the job search process. One of the areas I’d like to discuss today is recruiters. Working with recruiters can be a great benefit to your job search.  However, there are several steps to consider when connecting with a recruiter to better serve your needs.

Connecting With A Recruiter

First, connecting with a recruiter can be your choice or they could contact you directly.  If word has gotten out that you’re looking for work or that your company is going through a restructuring process many recruiters will reach out to you.  Most of the time they will find you through your Linkedin profile or because someone referred you.

Introduction Meeting

It’s important to have an introduction meeting with the recruiter regarding your employment history and your career goals.  This meeting is not only important for the recruiter but also for you because you need to feel comfortable working with this person.  It’s important for you to interview and figure out if this recruiter will be a good match for you and your job search.  One of the key questions to ask is to have him explain how he would match a job opening with a potential candidate.  What you want to hear is that the recruiter is truly interested in benefiting your career and not just filling a position. It’s important that the recruiter will have a strategy to help you market your skills to potential employers.

Managing Your Exposure

It’s possible that you will be contacted and working with several recruiters.  Therefore, it is important to have an introduction meeting with each one and keep track of where your resume is being submitted. The recruiter should speak with you regarding each position to confirm that this would be an opportunity that you would be interested in and to verify that your resume has not already been submitted to this company.

You must inform each recruiter that you’re working with that they should not send your resume to any company without informing you first.  The last thing that you would want is to saturate the market with your resume.  Saturating the market can create conflict with competing recruiting agencies and can lead to hiring managers believing that you are unorganized in your job search. The hiring manager may also not want to get involved in a battle between competing recruiters, they may remove you from consideration for the position.

Developing Trust With Your Recruiter

As you work with each recruiter you will find that you may have a better relationship with one more than another. It’s important to remember that working with a recruiter should always involve trust and understanding of your career needs.  The recruiter should have your best interests in mind regarding your career goals.  As with any relationship, trust will build over time.

Recruiters are a great resource who are there to help you market your skills, provide career guidance, insights into company culture and access to certain opportunities that may not be advertised.   You should keep your relationship going with your recruiter even after you have been placed.  You never know when a great opportunity will surface.


Have you ever worked with a recruiter during a job search? Did you find it helpful?


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Job Search: Working With Recruiters — 19 Comments

  1. A heads up. Although I have not worked with a recruiter I have been warned about their contracts. Even if you find a job on your own, if that job is with an employer that works with that recruiter then you or the company could still be on the hook for the recruiters “finders fee”. This could sometimes be a disincentive for companies to hire you. So be careful when working with recruiters, especially for low paying positions, make sure you’re going to get value from the relationship. Just my 2 cents. Good luck with your search Raquel!
    Thomas @ i need money ASAP! recently posted…Donate Hair For MoneyMy Profile

    • Thank you for that tip Thomas. There are definitely things to watch out for when working with recruiters. This is another reason why having the intro meeting to get to know them and their affiliations is an important step.

  2. Good luck with the whole process. Very good points, especially exposure. I have not had to use a recruiter before. I got the job before graduation, as all chains will recruit on career day at the schools. From then on, it was word of mouth. I hope you guys find great ones!!!
    Kemkem recently posted…Food in MalagaMy Profile

    • Thanks. I haven’t worked much with recruiters either but my husband has. In his industry it is the standard way of getting a position.

  3. The last big job search I did back in 2008, I worked with numerous recruiters and one in particular was key in getting me a job with my former company. It is hard to know which ones are good ones and which ones have better connections with companies. I mostly worked with recruiters because I had applied for a position that they posted, but I wish that I had connected more one on one. I just didn’t find a recruiter I trusted completely before I found my job.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Ready Set RollMy Profile

  4. Good point about not flooding the market with your resume if you are working with different recruiters. I hadn’t thought about that. I’ve only worked with a recruiter when I’ve been approached by one trying to fill a specific job. I’ve never been hired for a job working with a recruiter though. My jobs have all been self sought but I’ve only changed companies three times in my career. I’ve found my positions through networking with former colleagues who have left my company and gone to another. The importance of maintaining a good network cannot be underestimated. Most companies love to hire employees recommended by a current employee. In fact many have incentive programs of this nature.
    debs recently posted…Financial Mistakes of the Worst KindMy Profile

    • My husband actually had a bad experience with a recruiter who flooded the market with this resume a few years ago. It was definitely a lesson learned for him.

  5. Recruiters have contacted me through LinkedIn a number of times. I worked with a couple of them but they moved on (despite telling me they didn’t have plans to), so that was unfortunate. I think it’s smart to get in touch with recruiters even if you have no plans of leaving your employer (which I didn’t and still don’t).
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Is Public Transit Worth the Hassle?My Profile

    • Most of the time they leave you alone if you’re settled in a position. Once they know you’re looking to make a move again they will get in touch or you can always reach out to find out what’s cooking in the job market.

  6. The right recruiter can be good to work with and have as a contact/ally, operating in reality as a business partner. That being said, it’s definitely good to be careful. If they ask you sign anything, be very, very careful. I had one in the past that agreed to meet me but then had an “employment agreement” for me to sign. Needless to say, I didn’t met with him.

    In short, while recruiters (the right ones) can have their place, for many people maintaining a strong network is key. At least that’s been my experience.
    Squirrelers recently posted…Reclining Seat Debate: 5 Rights Airline Passengers Pay ForMy Profile

    • There are definitely some shady recruiters out there. It is wise to always proceed with caution when contacted by one.

  7. When you find a good recruiter it can be very beneficial. Of course, always be cautions and clear with your needs and expectations. I would say that working with a recruiter should be one in the many strategies to finding new employment.

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  9. Am yet to work with a recruiter, but I imagine they’d be better suited for some job searches. They have “insider information” if you will and a network way beyond what you can rouse when looking for a job. I guess the only problem is finding a trustworthy and reliable one(s).
    And I totally agree with keeping up with them even when you are placed…you never know when that position might go sour. Then again, isn’t that a basic tenet of networking? Keep in touch?
    Simon E. recently posted…Travelocity Rewards American Express Card ReviewMy Profile

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    • I believe companies hire recruiters/head hunters more for niche positions or for high level positions that are difficult to fill. As you mentioned, there needs to be a value to working with a recruiter. Therefore, not every position in a company will accept applications through a recruiter/head hunter. My husband has never paid a fee to a recruiter but the hiring company will pay recruiters to find them qualified candidates quickly.