15 Helpful Tips for Working With Recruiters To Get a Job

Updated January 3, 2023

A recruiter can provide helpful advice and coaching guidance during your job search, such as recommending ways to improve your resume or interviewing skills. When recruiters understand your qualifications and career goals, they can help you find a job that's the right fit for you. Knowing how to work effectively with recruiters can help you use their guidance, connections and expertise to find a new job.

In this article, we share 15 tips for working with recruiters and explain why it's beneficial to work with them during your job search.

15 tips for working with recruiters

Use these 15 tips to help you work effectively with recruiters and optimize your connections:

1. Prepare for your first meeting

Prepare for your first meeting with a new recruiter as though you're interviewing for a job. Before your meeting with a recruiter, think about your career goals and the types of jobs you want to have. Providing a recruiter with clear, relevant information can help them better assist you with your job search.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview With a Recruiter

2. Update your resume

A current resume is a valuable tool for helping recruiters match you with the right positions. Make sure you update your resume with your current work experience and education history, including details about continuing education or professional development courses you've completed. Also, make sure the contact information on your resume is current before distributing this information to recruiters.

Read more: 11 Ways To Update Your Resume

3. Plan answers to common questions

Consider questions a recruiter may ask you to ensure you answer them confidently and accurately. Most recruiters ask new clients about their career goals to understand what they want to achieve. If you're not sure what your goals are, consider what job you want to have and the industry in which you want to work. Some other questions recruiters may ask during your first meeting include:

  • What type of company culture or work environment do you prefer?

  • What's your ideal job?

  • What tasks do you want to perform in a new job?

  • What job title do you want to have?

  • What's your preferred job location?

Related: 18 Interview Questions About Your Career Goals (With Answers)

4. Consider your salary expectations

Perform an online search to see average salaries for your preferred jobs. Consider your experience and education when determining a reasonable salary. Be honest about how much money you want to make in a new position. This information can help recruiters negotiate an appropriate salary on your behalf.

Related: How To Disclose Salary Requirements

5. Ask questions to determine compatibility

Similar to the way an employer asks questions to determine whether you're the right candidate for a position, you can ask a recruiter questions to evaluate whether they're the best person to help you in your job search. Ask a new recruiter about their experience in your industry and how they help candidates find work. Assess their answers to determine whether you may have a good working relationship with them. Some questions you may ask recruiters include:

  • How many candidates have you helped to find positions in this industry?

  • How do you market job candidates to potential employers?

  • How can I highlight my qualifications to employers?

  • How does your recruiting process work?

Related: How To Find the Right Recruiter for You

6. Communicate openly

Open communication can help recruiters represent you effectively to potential employers. Be honest about the factors impacting your job search, including your resume, interviewing techniques and salary expectations. Speak clearly about the jobs you want and tell a recruiter if a potential job isn't the right fit for you.

Read more: How To Talk to Recruiters

7. Explain resume gaps

A resume provides a summary of your work history, skills and education. If you have gaps in any of those areas, explain them to recruiters so they can best represent you. For example, noting that your work history has a one-year gap because you traveled can help recruiters explain this gap to hiring managers.

Related: How To Explain Gaps in Employment on Your Resume

8. Be honest about job requirements

Some candidates may have specific requirements for new jobs. For example, you may want to work standard business hours or work from home two days a week. Noting these requirements can help a recruiter identify jobs that best meet your needs.

9. Note if you're working with other recruiters

During your job search, you may work with multiple recruiters to find open positions. Be honest with each recruiter about jobs you've applied for so your time together is efficient and productive. Recruiters understand that those searching for jobs use a variety of professional contacts to find new jobs, and they typically appreciate your candor.

10. Be respectful and polite

Use a respectful tone and polite manners whenever you interact with recruiters. This behavior shows recruiters you're likely to show the same courtesy to potential employers, which may make them feel more confident recommending you for roles. Speak calmly, courteously and professionally at all times. Keeping correspondence brief and communicating only when necessary shows you respect your recruiter's time and other commitments.

Related: How To Develop a Professional Attitude

11. Use preferred communication methods

When working with a recruiter, ask them how they prefer to correspond with you. Communicating with recruiters using their preferred method increases your chance of positive and timely responses. For example, some recruiters like to communicate via email, while others prefer to have phone conversations. When communicating with a recruiter, make sure you also do the following:

  • Submit documents in each recruiter's preferred way. Follow a recruiter's guidelines about sending job-related documents. For example, some recruiters may like you to upload your resume to their websites, while others prefer you attach it to an email.

  • Speak with recruiters after interviews. Your recruiters are your contact people throughout the job search process. Following this accepted communication practice is good etiquette.

Related: How To Write an Effective Email to Recruiters (With Sample)

12. Attend all scheduled appointments

Attending all appointments your recruiter schedules shows you're trustworthy. When recruiters know you're reliable, they can feel more confident recommending you to employers. Make sure you attend appointments with your recruiter and any interviews your recruiter organizes. Arrive on time to demonstrate your punctuality, which is another desirable quality for employees. If you can't attend for any reason, such as serious illness or injury, call your recruiter to try to reschedule.

13. Respond to messages quickly

Responding quickly to messages from recruiters shows respect and eagerness in your job search. A fast response can also help you acknowledge any time-sensitive opportunities, such as same-day interviews. Keep your phone on full volume whenever possible to make sure you don't miss a call from your recruiter. Also, check your inbox, instant messages and voicemail regularly for correspondence.

Read more: How To Respond to a Recruiter Email (With Examples)

14. Engage with recruiters regularly

Corresponding with your recruiter regularly makes sure they think of you whenever they find suitable roles. It's a good idea to communicate with your recruiter every two to four weeks. A brief message stating that you're still looking for work and hoping to hear from them soon can be an effective reminder of your job search.

15. Thank recruiters for their help

Once you've accepted a job offer, you may no longer require a recruiter's services. Whether they helped you secure the position, take time to thank them for their assistance. You may also leave a positive review for them online. Your gratitude can give recruiters a final positive impression of you, which may encourage them to work with you again. They may even approach you with attractive job offers in the future to help you advance in your career.

Related: Guide to Thank You Notes (With Examples and Tips)

Why work with recruiters?

Working with recruiters can help you find the right job quickly. Recruiters often have good working relationships with hiring managers, human resource managers and other employers, which can benefit you in your job search. There are various reasons to use a recruiter during your job search, which include:

  • Learning about new job opportunities, including some unpublicized openings

  • Having someone advocate for you with hiring managers to get an interview, job offer or higher salary

  • Gaining knowledge about what hiring managers are seeking in job candidates

  • Working with someone who can provide coaching about resumes and interview techniques

  • Getting feedback on job applications to help you improve

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