Working with Recruiters in Your Job Search


One growing trend in the workplace is that employers are using recruiters more to look for workers as part of their hiring process. If you are looking for a job, it is to your advantage to know how to work with recruiters, and to know how they work.

Preparation is key here. If you have never been contacted by a recruiter, or it’s been some time since you’ve talked with one, do some research and learn about the process, or to refresh your memory.

Although the recruiter is working for the employer, he or she can be very helpful to you as a job seeker. The recruiter can give you advice about the process and be used for feedback for your own impressions.  The recruiter also can be a go-between for employers and job applicants.  The recruiter can pass along information or respond to other concerns even before actual contact between the parties occurs.

Find out the payment system that the recruiter is using.  Is he being paid on a retainer basis, where he will receive payment regardless of the outcome, or on a strictly commission basis, which tends to make the recruiter work to close the deal as quickly as possible?   Knowing this as a job candidate is important because if the recruiter is working on a retainer, you can be more confident knowing that he will not be in a rush to close the deal and will be more concerned about finding the right person for the job.

You need to be able to sell yourself to a recruiter.  You need to give the recruiter a solid understanding of your skills and experience, as well as what kind of position you seek.

It’s also important in dealing with a recruiter to be yourself.  Trying to create an appearance that is not the real you just to fit a job description will sooner or later lead to problems because you may end up in a job that is not a good fit.  Try not to come across as too eager, which might be seen as desperation.  You need to be poised and confident in dealing with a recruiter.

As with any job search, you also want to investigate your potential employer and make yourself as informed as possible about the company.

You need to let the recruiter know if you are following up on any other job leads. The recruiter and the employer know that candidates are pursuing as many opportunities as they can find, so this is not a problem. It might also make you look better to a company if it knows you are being sought by other employers as well.

You also have to be willing to take suggestions and even criticism from the recruiter. Don’t take it personally because the recruiter is simply trying to improve your attractiveness as a job candidate.

If you’re looking for work in the construction, engineering or architecture sectors in the Washington, DC area, contact a recruiter at RealStreet Staffing. We have many temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments with some of DC’s best companies. We look forward to hearing from you.

After a string of failures trying to find the right person on our own, RealStreet came through for us. The first person they recommended was the person we’d been looking for all along. It doesn’t get better than that.

Joshua A. Woolley

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