Leveraging Relationships with Recruiters

If you are an active job seeker, odds are you have recently been contacted by a recruiter. You know the spiel: “Hello, my name is so-and-so. I came across your resume online and was interested to see if you were still looking for a new position?”

It is very natural to put your guard up when you get contacted by a complete stranger about something as important as your job search. I get it. Many candidates want to be in control of their resume. But consider this –if you developed the knowledge required to confidently identify which recruiters were worth utilizing, you could expand your job search and gain valuable contacts that could last for the rest of your career.

Before you jump into another day of job hunting, check out the tips below on how to leverage your recruiter contacts and create new networking opportunities for yourself.

When contacted by a recruiter, ask questions
Initial phone conversations should be a time where you learn as much about them as they learn about you. Find out if they are calling about a specific position or if they have gotten in contact to simply get a better feel for you as a candidate. Make sure to write down the recruiter’s name and contact information, so you can research them later. The more you know about their professional history, the better you can gauge just how much they can help you in your job search.

If you receive unsolicited calls from recruiters, take them. You never know when one phone call could turn into a long-lasting relationship with a legitimately helpful contact. Stay in touch with the recruiters who could line you up with employers in the future. Another great option is to ask friends who have been placed by local recruiters to forward your resume to the person who placed them.

Get to know how recruiters work
In order to effectively utilize recruiters when they reach out to you, it is important to understand the different kinds of recruiters that exist and how they operate.

The two main types of recruiters are contingent and retained. Contingent recruiters are not paid until a candidate they submit is hired for the job. These are the recruiters competing with internal hiring teams, advertising, and direct applicants to fill the opening at hand. Contingent recruiters are likely to work at a faster pace than retained recruiters since their compensation is on the line.

Retained recruiters, on the other hand, are hired to manage the whole hiring process for a client. These recruiters work exclusively with companies to fill their positions, and charge an upfront fee to conduct the entire candidate search. These recruiters are usually able to take more time in finding multiple candidates that meet the needs of the companies for which they are working.

Recruiting firms tend to specialize by industry or function. Understanding this can help you figure out how to form your relationships. Seek out recruiters who specialize in the field you’re in or the field you want to enter.

Position yourself where opportunities are presented
It is imperative that you get out there where you have the chance to meet the right people and hear about the right opportunities. If you don’t have a LinkedIn yet, make one. Creating a LinkedIn profile is the easiest way to increase your visibility with recruiters and hiring managers. Make sure your profile is thorough and always updated, and remember to check your LinkedIn and spam frequently to avoid missing inquiries from people in your network.

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