March 5, 2014

5 Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruiter

Business Woman And Man HandshakeWhen looking for a new job or a change in your career, you have the choice to use a professional recruiter or not. There are a number of career advice websites that have in some ways taken the place of the recruiters these days. So what can a recruiter do for you?

I am not talking about a personnel agency but rather professional executive recruiters. What is the difference you ask?

  • Most personnel agencies work for the potential employers and you; the employers pay them at least part of their fee. Their emphasis is on placing you in a job. These jobs are usually at the administrative assistant, data entry clerk or secretarial clerk levels.
  • The Executive Recruiter works for the company and the company pays their fees, which are usually considerably higher than personnel agencies. Their emphasis is on filling the job with the best person NOT on placing you in a job.

These jobs are usually professional, such as engineers, IT.. Systems professionals, VPs and presidents/CEOs.

So in working with your recruiter remember that they are working for the company and not for you. So can they really help you, and do you have any way of influencing them? The answer to both questions is maybe—if you have the right credentials and fit the kind of jobs they recruit for.

1. Build a rapport with your recruiter. We talk a lot about rapport in sales jobs but it does not have to be an intimidating term. It simply means a trusting relationship, an even flow back and forth.

2. Let your recruiter instruct you. The person’s job is to get you in the door for the interview, use his or her sales skills to get you the offer, and finally, get you to accept it.

Allow your recruiter  to coach you on how to write a resume, how to present yourself to the employer, and how to negotiate an offer.

3. Let your recruiter format and re-edit your resume. The recruiter knows exactly what his or her client wants. The individual can formulate your skills and experience into the resume and cover letter that will showcase exactly what the client needs.

Recruiters also have more experience at resume writing than you will ever have. It is what they do; take advantage of this.

4. Listen to your recruiter and be honest with him or her. The person might be working for the client, but if he or she is going to present you to his or her client it is because the recruiter believes you are what the client needs.

5. Bend a recruiter’s ears a little for industry knowledge. If you have accomplished the first tip of building rapport with your recruiter than this one should be easy. No one has more knowledge of your industry than a recruiter who specializes in it.

Let the person tell you what is hot and where the jobs are located. If you let him or her, a good professional recruiter can be the biggest asset you have in your job search.

In conclusion, if you follow these tips and even build on them, you should have very good relationship with the recruiter who just might hold the ticket to your dream job. It is important that you be honest and open with recruiters and not hold back or play any games.

Remember the executive recruiter does not work for you. They work for the company you want to work for whether they are internal recruiters or consultants. They are a terrific resource for any job hunter though.

Read more in Recruitment

Gerald Buck is the editor of, a site offering job applications and resourceful information. He is passionate in providing advice to those seeking job opportunities.