How to work with recruiters

There is a common saying among people that engage recruiters as part of their job search strategy: I have (insert number here) recruiters working for me. As a career coach, it always amazes me when I hear someone say that. First off, let’s set the record straight: recruiters do not work for you; they work for their client, which happens to be the company that they are trying to fill a position for. So since recruiters do not work for you, what is the best way to work with them as you search for a new career opportunity?

Don’t call them, they will call you.

Because recruiters do not work for you, they do not spend their time looking for jobs for you. They spend their time sourcing candidates that they can present to the companies that have engaged them on a specific search. They are essentially in a high volume sales environment. Beyond your initial call to introduce yourself and engaged their services, you are wasting your time calling them once a week to see what leads they have developed. If they have a lead that you are a good match for, they will call you because it is in their best interest to do so.

Don’t ask for career advice; they are not career coaches.

Recruiters do not care what you want to do and they are not going to spend time helping you figure this out. That is not a good use of their time or their skill set. Asking a recruiter career-related advice is like asking an electrician to pour a concrete slab. That is not what they do. It is important to know what it is you want to do before engaging the services of a recruiting firm. Without this direction, you are wasting everyone’s time.

Don’t email recruiters jobs that you have found; that is not how they work.

Recruiters only work on job orders that they have been given by the companies they are engaged with. Because they only get paid when they place a candidate, spending time on non-income generating work does not make sense. If you find a job that you are interested take the initiative to research and apply for the opportunity.

The bottom line…

As a job seeker, a recruiter can be a viable resource. You just have to know how to work with them to maximize your chances of securing a position.

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