Knowing how to work with recruiters is an important part of your career, according to Kimberly Thompson, a national board-certified counselor. Whether you are actively searching for a job or happily employed, Thompson maintains that it is helpful to know that not all recruiters are the same. She suggests taking the time to research recruiters and get referrals from your network.
Thompson’s article continues:
“Recruiters usually fall into two camps, contingency and retained. A contingency recruiter will not have an exclusive contract to search candidates for an employer, and therefore multiple recruiters will send candidates to the same job position. A contingency recruiter will only be paid if his/her candidate is selected for the position.
A retained recruiter is hired by the employer and will usually have an exclusive contract to fill the position; they are paid whether a candidate is selected or not.
Whether you are working with a contingency or retained recruiter, it is important to know what recruiters look for and how to work with them.” Thompson offers some tips:
- Be honest about your accomplishments. Even though a position piques your interest, you might lack the exact experience requested by the client. Exaggerating your accomplishments will not benefit you or the recruiter.
- Discuss areas of weakness and gaps in your background.
- Be ready to respond to the “Tell me about you” statement. Share what makes you unique and give the recruiter a reason to promote you to their client.
- Refrain from using statements such as, “I have a strong engineering background with a solid work history in oil and gas.” Instead, consider using a memorable introduction that tells the recruiter why your background is different from other candidates’ even though you share common skills.
- If you are not really interested in a position, be honest and use the opportunity to refer other candidates who match the position description.
- Follow up with recruiters after client interviews and keep them informed of the next steps.
- Discuss compensation issues with recruiters and ask for feedback.
- Send the recruiter a thank-you note, acknowledging their efforts and support during the interview process.
- Keep a realistic view of what a recruiter can do for you and have patience.
Finally, if you are working with a recruiter, remember they work for the client and you are responsible for taking care of your career.