One great tactic for finding and landing the perfect role for you is working with a recruiter. Recruiters can help match you with a great organization that fits with your goals, skill set, and cultural fit. However, you can’t expect your recruiter to do all the work. Working with a recruiter is a collaborative effort. Here are four things you must do if you are going to work effectively with your recruiter.
1. Clear and effective communication from the beginning. Be open and honest about the type of role you are seeking, the size of the organization you prefer, and the type of culture you see yourself thriving in. For example, if you feel you would do best in a small start-up, let your recruiter know from the very beginning so that you don’t waste your time–and everyone else’s–by going through rounds of screening and interviews with large organizations. Throughout the process, be responsive and don’t suddenly end communication with your recruiter without warning. If you are no longer interested in an opportunity you discussed with your recruiter, let them know. This will allow them to find another candidate for that role and also to assist you in looking for a role that is a better fit for you.
2. Convey your compensation and benefits package expectations. No one likes to bring this up right off the bat, but when working with a recruiter, get clear on what you desire and expect. Some people are undervalued in the professional world, and your recruiter is on your side to help you make what you are worth. As you grow in your career, moving up the compensation ladder is a reasonable expectation and can be an exciting journey, but your pace has to be within the boundaries of the market. Keep your skillset and experience in mind when talking to your recruiter about compensation, and be realistic about what the market will offer.
3. Be gracious and respectful. If your journey with your recruiter does not end in the result you were hoping for, accept the decision with grace and gratitude. Recruiters work hard to do all they can to get you in the best role, but there are times when it just doesn’t work out. Keep in mind, though, that a “no” with one organization can often lead to a “yes” with another organization that may well turn out to be a better fit for you. Express gratitude to your recruiter and keep it professional, and they will continue to keep you in mind as new roles arise.
4. Demonstrate your competence. Recruiters participate heavily in the candidate selection process. They usually cannot say “yes” when making a hiring decision. However, they typically can say “no” and screen you out of the process. Recruiters will be looking for you to demonstrate, throughout the interviewing process, the same competencies that will help you be successful in the role for which you are interviewing. For example, if the role requires you to be organized and act with urgency, then demonstrate those behaviors in your interactions with your recruiter.
A good recruiter can be your biggest ally in the job hunt and there are many ways to leverage your relationship with your recruiter. Though things can vary depending on the industry and the individual recruiter, the four strategies I have shared work across the board.