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How to Snag the Perfect Recruiter

June 22, 2023

By Jennifer Hibbets, Sr. Recruiter

Thinking about your next career move? Don’t go it alone! Talented recruiters are out there to help you navigate the waters of your job search. Applying directly to companies can leave your resume floating in cyberspace or lost in a portal, never to be seen by the people who make the hiring decisions. That’s because many portals use algorithms to screen resumes, and if your resume doesn’t match their criteria, it doesn’t get into the hiring manager’s hands.

Recruiters know what jobs are open that fit your skillset and career goals. They know the company and its culture, the schedule, and they usually know the hiring manager and the nuances of the role – the details that the hiring managers have shared with them. This is valuable information they can use to expertly match you with the right employer and help you stand out from the crowd. 

If you aren’t using a skilled recruiter (or two) to make sure your information gets into the hands of the decision makers, you are missing out. It’s free, and it’s worth it! 

Not just any recruiter will do. But fear not! 

We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll dish out our best tips and insights on how to find and select your perfect recruiting partner. A good recruiter can be invaluable in helping you find not just a job, but a career. They’ll have the inside scoop on which companies are looking for candidates like you!

So, where do you find these all-important industry insiders? Here are some of our favorite tactics:

1. Get Ready
It is safe to say that social media platforms are a game changer when it comes to connecting with recruiters. LinkedIn, in particular, provides an invaluable platform to not only showcase your professional experience but also reach out to potential recruiters that might be the perfect fit to effectively market your skills. Plus, with over 722 million users worldwide, this platform is not going anywhere anytime soon. So, don’t be afraid to get witty with your profile, update your skills and experiences regularly, and make connections with industry leaders.

2. Activate your Network
More and more professionals are turning to recruiters to help them find specific roles or opportunities within top companies. If you’re not already, start networking with people who have similar backgrounds or positions to the one you want. Ask for referrals from anyone who’s had a great experience with a recruiter – not only does this give you a trustworthy starting point, but it also makes for a strong introduction. 

Plus, taking a more personal approach to your job search is sure to leave a better impression than simply submitting your resume blindly into a digital void. So go ahead, tap into your network, and let your career dreams become reality.

3. Search for Firms that Specialize in Your Field
Finding a specialized recruiter that understands your industry can be an invaluable asset in helping you find the right job. Such recruiters are familiar with the current trends and practices of your particular field, as well as the competition you may face for certain positions. They also understand the unique challenges of a specific industry and look for candidates who have the right skills to face those challenges. They have the inside scoop on which companies are currently looking for specific types of candidates, and they can provide advice and insights that general recruiters may not be able to give. Additionally, a specialized recruiter will be much more likely to find you opportunities that specifically fit your skillset and experience level. With their expertise in the industry, they can make sure that you are matched with the best opportunity for your career goals. Investing the time in locating a specialized recruiter is, therefore, an important step towards finding the perfect job.

4. Reach Out
Once you’ve located a suitable firm, check out the firm’s website or LinkedIn page. Under the “people” tab, you can find their recruiters. Reach out to one of them and schedule a conversation to see if they are a good fit for you. You need someone who can expertly match you with employers in your desired industry and can provide valuable advice on the job market, including tips on how to present yourself, salary, benefits, and the ins and outs of the job market.

Great recruiters are skilled communicators. They should listen to your career story, drivers, and goals and respond with thoughtful questions and relevant insights. You want a recruiter that sets a friendly tone, is a good listener, and has your interest at heart. They will be the one to tell your story to potential employers.

5. Look for Experience, Integrity, and a Long-Term Relationship
The firm you select should have a high success rate in placing candidates in desirable roles that further their careers. The firm should also have strong relationships with multiple clients in your targeted industry. Beware of firms that treat you like a commission check and not like a person. Not only does the recruiting firm’s success rate play into the good reputation status, but how a firm handles their business, candidates and clients matters. Look out for recruiters that work hard for you, operate with integrity, and ultimately, forge a long-term relationship with you.

6. What is Your Part?
For your part, don’t be afraid to be transparent with your recruiter. Be clear about what you want to achieve, what you need to be successful, where you excel, and what your drivers are for leaving your current job. Be up front about your economic goals too. A recruiter should be able to help you articulate and package this information in a compelling way. 

It’s not just about making a good first impression and following up after an interview. Staying in touch throughout your job search can keep you on your recruiter’s radar and make you top of mind when a new opportunity opens up. And let’s face it, recruiters hear from a lot of candidates, so standing out takes more than just a polished resume. So, get creative with your follow-ups – send them an article they might find interesting or share recent news about a company you have interest in – and show them that you’re not just another job seeker, but someone who will actively engage in the process of finding the right career move.

Ace your job search game by following these tips on working with recruiters. Whether you’re “planted” and looking to move up or are in job search mode and seeking a challenging role, these tips will help you succeed in your career pursuit.