We’ve all had experiences with shady “recruiters” in our careers – the ones who don’t seem to have the faintest idea where you’ve worked, advertise jobs that don’t exist, or, worse yet, ask you for your social security number before they will submit you for a job. A skilled and professional recruiter can be your best friend in the search for a new opportunity if you can separate the wheat from the chaff and treat legit recruiters right.
Here are some tips – and mistakes to avoid – from The Woods Group to get the most from your relationships with headhunters.
- Hear them out – When you automatically say no to an available position without hearing the details you may be cutting yourself off from improved compensation and benefits, growth opportunities, or work-life balance perks like a shorter commute, more regular hours, or more vacation time. Even if the position isn’t a fit, an open mind and a positive attitude leave the recruiter with a good impression that will serve you well when the right job comes along.
- Always have an updated resume ready – You never know when an interesting opportunity could come along and you want to be ready to pounce on it. Recruiters are calling because they need to fill jobs – if you can’t provide an accurate resume quickly they will move along to someone who can.
- Keep in touch – When you have good rapport with a headhunter it pays to check in quarterly and provide them an updated resume to ensure that they think of you when a job in your field comes in.
- Take the call – Yes, recruiters will call in the middle of your workday – it’s their workday too. If you can’t take the call at that time, make arrangements to talk when you can give them your full attention for 10 minutes or so. Be reasonable and respectful with regard to scheduling; lunchtime or right after work are good options.
- Don’t jump to conclusions - It’s easy to make a snap judgment that a headhunter hasn’t read your resume when they ask you to tell them about your job responsibilities or skillset. Often they ask these basic questions to see how you articulate what you do and the value of your skills. In addition, while describing your work you may mention capabilities and experience that you neglected to put on your resume.
- Don’t burn bridges – There are some cardinal sins when it comes to working with a recruiter including the no-call/no-show for interviews, circumventing the recruiter in negotiations with the client, and damaging the recruiter’s relationship with their client by behaving unprofessionally in an interview. Obviously these offenses will get you immediately blacklisted, but you also want to remember that we all work harder for people we like; being courteous and patient goes a long way!