Top 10 Tips for Candidates Working with Recruiters

by Scott Corwin

  1. Recruiters are paid to fill a job not find you a job. Try not to take it personally but do understand this is how they make a living.
  2. Are you a good candidate? Recruiters do like to place good candidates with good companies. An old colleague of mine once said there is no such thing as a bad company or a bad candidate; you just have to match the two.
  3. Building strong relationships with recruiters. Follow up once a week via a call and once a week via an email. If a recruiter has information about an interview for you or the next steps they WILL call you. More than that detracts from the recruiter doing their job…getting you the interview.
  4. Keys to the kingdom. Recruiters often hold key information about positions, companies hiring, and specific hurdles hiring managers put in front of candidates.  They are always willing to share that information with the candidates they believe to be their personal top choice.
  5. Preparation is the difference between the top candidate who gets an offer and the runner up. Does your resume really present you well? Do you have a plan on how you are going to be successful? Know the market, the competitors and industry news.
  6. Q & A with the recruiter. This should really go both ways, but understand the recruiter is trying to qualify you IN, not knock you out of consideration for this position.  They need to know specifics and will ask hard questions. Just be truthful.
  7. Compensation. This is the reason we all work. In vision your recruiter as your talent agent. They get a piece of the action because they put you in the job in the first place.
  8. Not Enough Time in the Day. Some recruiters are trying to do the job of 4 people. You are looking for one job and look how time consuming that can be. Image trying to fill 30 spots, all in the next 48 hours…
  9. Be nice. Be professional. Transitioning to a new job or career can be stressful, we get it. Just don’t make your recruiter your shrink. Be sure to communicate clearly with your recruiter what is the most important criteria for you to make a move.  Nothing is more frustrating to a recruiter than doing all the work required to get you the offer to have you then so no.
  10. Karma and referrals. Pay it forward. Do you want to be top of mind of a recruiter? – help them with a referral. What goes around comes around. I’ll personally go out of my way for someone that has already gone out of their way to help me.