Many job seekers turn to recruitment professionals when searching for that perfect job. Others who are already employed find themselves contacted out of the blue by a professional recruiter. In either case, there are some dos and don’ts for dealing with a professional recruiter that can make the difference between getting a job and being passed over.
When you make contact with a professional recruiter – Many job seekers turn to professional recruiters as part of their job search activities. Most, though, have unrealistic expectations about the response they will receive and fail to fully understand the recruiter’s job. Here are some tips to help you maximize your chances of success when making contact with professional recruiters:
Ask for a referral – Before contacting any professional recruiter, ask your friends, family and colleagues for referrals. If they have dealt successfully with a particular recruiter in the past, it is easier for you to be noticed if you mention the person who provided the referral.
Remember who is paying the recruiter – When contacting a professional recruiter, never forget that he or she is not working for you. The recruiter is working for the company seeking to fill a job position, so expect him or her to focus on the company’s needs rather than your needs.
Be specific – Some professional recruiters advertise that they have expertise in any industry or profession. This is not necessarily strength, as a recruiter who attempts to serve too many different industries is unlikely to have in-depth knowledge of any of them. Instead, focus on professional recruiters who specialize in your field or profession. They are most likely to have relevant positions and their expertise means they are better able to recognize the quality of your qualifications.
When a professional recruiter contacts you – At some point in their career, a professional recruiter will contact most upper level executives. How you handle that contact can be critical. Here are some tips to keep in mind when a professional recruiter comes calling:
Take the call – If a recruiter contacts you, take the call even if you are happy in your current job. It never hurts to hear about other employment opportunities in the marketplace, and you should establish a positive relationship with the recruiter in case you are ever in the job seeking position.
Be discreet – Most recruiters will not come right out and ask if you are interested in a potential position. Rather, they will provide some brief information and ask if you know anyone who might be interested. Be polite and ask for more information, which will usually be provided somewhere outside of your current office environment.
Look to the future – If a recruiter contacts you it is a good sign that you are viewed as a good performer and a desirable employee. Treat every conversation with a recruiter as a form of job interview, as the recruiter will be assessing you throughout the discussion. Even if you ultimately decide not to pursue the position, you will have established a positive relationship that will likely benefit you in the future.