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Let the Recruiters Recruit You

Professional employment recruiters can present you to your next employer. Understanding the role of a recruiter and your relationship with a recruiter will help you to make the most of that relationship. Many people misunderstand the recruiter's position by assuming the recruiter works on behalf of the candidate, the job seeker. Unless you have retained the recruiter (you are paying a fee), the recruiter works for the hiring employer because the hiring employer pays the fee in most cases. Misunderstanding this fundamental fact can lead to a frustrating experience.

Because recruiters earn a commission or retainer fee paid by hiring companies, presenting top talent to the employer is a recruiter’s top priority. This system does not work unless they can maintain a bevy of qualified candidates. The trick is for your résumé to be at the right place at the right time. Follow this simple tips to help the recruiter to recruit you.

  • Select recruiters who work in your target industry, at your job level, and in your geographic location.

  • Send your résumé along with a cover letter to your target recruiters. Define your career goal. Use the same professional style and tone that you would use when addressing a prospective employer.

  • Continuously update your LinkedIn profile. Ensure your profile is rich with relevant keywords and your content is fresh. Recruiters do some of their best hunting on LinkedIn.

  • Don't expect a recruiter to help you edit your résumé or provide career training.

  • If you do not hear from a recruiter, it means that currently they do not have a position for which you are suited. A single follow-up to ensure they received your resume is fine. However, ongoing pestering could be a real turn-off for a busy recruiter.

  • If you don't hear from a recruiter, send a follow up letter and current résumé in two to four months. You can state in your letter, "Attached is an updated résumé for your file."

  • If the recruiter's office requests additional information, respond quickly. It is not unusual for a recruiter to follow up with a request for salary history.

  • At all times demonstrate professionalism, good temperament, and flexibility. Recruiters want to be proud of the candidates they send for interviews. If you are annoying the recruiter, you can bet they will not present you to a prized client.

If you manage the recruiter relationship with care, you will increase your chances of being tapped for a well-suited opportunity. Remember that recruiters are only one channel for your job search. Most candidates attain a job through networking, so focus on all job search channels to increase your odds.

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