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Help your recruiter to help you - top tips

Posted on from Robert Half

Effective recruitment consultants act as connectors, advisors and career guides, to help you maximise your chances of securing a new role. Clive Davis offers his top tips for getting the most out of the relationship.

What can recruitment consultants offer?

When you’re job hunting, it makes sense to tap into as many resources as possible. That’s why many professionals seeking a new position decide to team up with a recruiter. These professionals understand the needs of both employers and candidates and are well positioned to bring both parties together in effective matches.

A recruiting professional can help you target your search efforts to the most promising opportunities, extend your network and alert you to openings you might not hear about otherwise. The best recruiters can also serve as career guides, providing you with CV and interview tips, salary data and advice to enhance your marketability. But in order to make the most of a recruiter’s services and contacts, you need to choose the right firm and learn how to work with its representatives effectively.

Finding the right job search partner

Your job search is a potentially life-changing matter, so it’s important to find a recruiter who inspires your trust and confidence. Consult your network of professional and personal contacts as well as trade associations and local chambers of commerce for recommendations.

It’s important to narrow your selection to firms that specialise in your field. Generalist firms do not have the specific experience of recruiting experts who have worked in the fields they support. A specialised firm, in contrast, will have a strong sense of the marketplace and can offer more opportunities in your field. The best specialised recruitment firms also have larger networks, including long-standing alliances with professional organisations.

Getting the most from the relationship

After you’ve selected a firm, you’ll likely have an initial meeting with your recruitment consultant. Be completely honest when discussing your past remuneration and previous positions. If you resigned from your former firm after a disagreement with your supervisor, for example, be forthright about it. Withholding information from your career partner gains you nothing and limits his or her ability to fully understand your needs.   

As you begin working with a recruiter, try the following suggestions to build the most productive relationship possible:
 

  • Focus on quality, not quantity, of interviews. Some jobseekers begin to worry when their recruitment consultants do not arrange several interviews a week for them. But a high volume of interviews does not necessarily mean that the recruiter is devoting a great deal of time or effort to your search. The more experienced they are, the better able they are to judge – before you go on an interview – whether the company is likely to view you as a serious candidate. Good recruiters don’t waste your time (or their clients’) by sending you on interviews for jobs you’re not really qualified to fill. 
  • Be an active participant in the search. Recruiters can be a tremendous asset, but don’t expect them to do it all. It’s still your responsibility to prepare well for interviews and maintain your own networking efforts. 
  • Maintain communication. Keep recruiters apprised of progress in your job search, especially right after an interview. This will enable them to leverage your feedback in a follow-up call to the employer, which could lead to a second or final interview. Similarly, be forthright in communicating any changes in your career needs or availability. If you’re interviewing for other jobs that you’ve set up on your own, let recruiters know. This information can help them better understand your goals and help you streamline your search. 
  • In addition to these strategies, one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship with your recruiter is to be a person they enjoy calling. If you are professional, enthusiastic, considerate and quick to respond, a recruiter is more likely to call you first when there’s a suitable opening – and to feel comfortable recommending you for top assignments.

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