businessman pulling someone up ladderEverybody knows that recruiters help job seekers land jobs, but frequent applicants are unsure of how to leverage the skills and services of a recruiter to their best advantage. The central function of a recruiter is to work with hiring companies to help you get a job with a particular job description, but recruiters are also involved in tasks such as resume reviewing, candidate selection, preliminary interviews (both phone and in-person), expediting interviews between candidates and hiring companies, and assisting with job offers. Basically, recruiters endeavor to hire the best candidate for a particular company and position.

So, even if you use a recruiter you may never receive any offers if you don’t effectively communicate with him or her or lack the proper personality and qualifications for the jobs you are seeking. So what can you do to receive the most benefit from a recruiter? Check out the following steps to ensure you’re optimizing your recruiter-assisted job search:

• Instead of blindly reaching out to any number of staffing and employment agencies, try to hone in on agencies that specialize in recruiting for your industry. Many agencies focus on certain industries or regions and so have a great understanding of your specific job field and general qualifications.

• Try to keep the number of recruitment agencies you utilize to no more than three at once. Sure, if you are not hearing back from one agency you should try another, but don’t get involved with too many at the same time. Doing so is perceived as an act of desperation and frowned upon by employers.

• Stick to established procedures and remain conservative in the way you approach your chosen agencies. Each one has its own process that should be diligently followed. Stay in contact with your recruiter, but keep communications brief, polite, and professional and consider that your recruiter has many other clients that also require attention.

• Proactively cater your resume, cover letters, and other materials to best display your qualifications and fit to the job openings at each agency. Design your materials to be personalized for each hiring company to get the most attention from recruiters.

• It’s always easier to trade favors for favors so if you have the opportunity to refer qualified friends or other contacts to your recruiter, do it. If you see a job opening that matches the skills and interests of a friend or colleague, let the recruiter know; it will certainly be appreciated and will only help your relationship (as long as you don’t send inappropriate candidates).

There are thousands of recruitment agencies all around the country for a reason: they work. By ensuring that you are qualified for their job openings and understanding how to keep your recruiter engaged, you improve your chances of employment success. The more you work for your recruiter, the more he or she can work for you.


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