Tips for working with recruiters, from the desk of smartdept. inc. Seattle Branch Manager: Meghann Kern

I’m frequently asked by job seekers how to work with staffing resources and recruiters.  Below are the top four things that help me find you a job.

1 – Tell me about your irons
I want to know everything about your job search. Tell me how many irons you have in the fire. You won’t offend me if you tell me you’re working with another recruiter at a different staffing resource, but not telling me you’re interviewing with prospective employers puts me at a disadvantage. I want to be able to tell my clients that you’re actively interviewing and most likely won’t be on the job market long, thus expediting the interview/offer process. I also don’t want to blindside my clients. If I have you scheduled to interview for a contract or direct hire position – you seem interested in the role, and the client seems interested in you – but then you accept a different position the day after your interview. Transparency is key in helping me find you a job. If you receive an offer or know one is on its way, tell me so I can leverage that with the clients I’m trying to place you with.

2 – Polish your presence, check your settings
I need a clean resume and a LinkedIn profile that supports the content of your resume.  LinkedIn is a tool that isn’t going away. It’s only getting more popular, so make sure your profile is up to date and doesn’t read like your Facebook page. Your profile on LinkedIn is your own personal brand – handle it with care. If you have a Facebook page and don’t feel the content you post is appropriate for prospective employers to read, keep your Facebook settings private. This goes for any other online presence you have that is non-professional. Double check the content you post online and keep your settings private if you don’t want a potential employer to read it.

3 – Response time
I want to hear from you as quickly as possible. If you’re on the hunt for a job and I’m calling to talk with you or email you to tell you about a new opportunity, you may lose out if you don’t get back to me quickly. My goal when working with a client is to find the best fit for their current need as quickly as possible.  Sometimes I’m competing with another staffing resource that is also working on the same position, and sometimes I’m the only recruiter supporting the role. Either way, my response time to my client is key and I can’t present you to my client without talking through the role with you to determine the fit.

4 – Understand my role
I work for you (the candidate), and for my client (your prospective employer). I want to get to know you and I need to understand what’s important to you in your next professional endeavor. However, I might not always have the right role for you right away. Job searching is a process, and one that usually happens multiple times throughout your professional life. Don’t give up on me if I don’t find you a job right away. Stay in touch even after you find a job. I have candidates that have become my clients and then become my candidates again. They’re some of my favorite people to work with because we’ve developed a relationship over a number of years. I look forward to grabbing coffee and catching up with them. I try to meet with all my candidates in person, even if we’re unable to do a formal interview at my office I’ll meet you for coffee – just ask me! I not only want to find you a job, but I want to make a long-term hire for my client. My client pays the bills, but for the job seeker my services are free. I’m another set of eyes looking for roles on your behalf. Help me help you (Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jerry Maguire – yes, I made a Jerry Maguire reference).