Top 10 Nuggets of Advice for Having Success with a Recruiter

Last week I blogged about some things that hiring managers do that, well, piss you off when you are on the job hunt. I got a ton of emails with people blowing off steam about how incredibly shitty the job search process can be.

Today, I’m going to provide some critical advice to you – the job hunter — and the mistakes I see regarding recruiter interviews.

Now that I’m recruiting again, I can’t believe the errors candidates are making with me and another recruiter that I’m partnering with.  It’s actually mind-boggling.  There’s no follow-up, a lack of communications, negativity, an air of desparation, just to name a few. Is it because candidates feel so burnt out that they just don’t care?  Is it that you are working with so many recruiters that you are not forming “true partnerships” with just a select few?  Is it that candidates just don’t get what recruiters really do?  I’d love your feedback so keep the comments a-comin’!

Per example:  I recently spoke to a digital sales candidate who I’ve known for years who has been out of work for about 6 months.  I introduced her to one of my partners, Camille, who potentially had a job for her in L.A.  When she spoke to Camille, she gave her the most incredible “tude” you could ever imagine.  The candidate I’m referring to has been living in NY but moved to LA.  For years, she’s been saying she would love to move  but she didn’t TELL me she actually took the plunge.  So, when Camille asked her “so, I hear you’d like to get a position in L.A?..,” my candidate snarkily retorted, “well, yeah, there’s a reason I moved out here.”  (You could just hear the: “duh, you f-in’ idiot!” intonation).  Uh, interview over.

I was mortified and embarrassed to have introduced this person to Camille and, guess what?  I’ll never call her again.  Ever. That means, she’s effectively closed the door on a good number of job opportunities that could have come from at least 2 recruiters (because I won’t refer her out to any other recruiters either).  Not smart.

I could go on, but instead I think the best thing to do is to give you my TOP 10 Nuggets of Advice for Having Success with a Recruiter:

1) Pick a select few recruiters that you trust and respect.  Don’t spread yourself out so thin that you develop a “tude” everytime you speak to a recruiter.

2) If you are partnering with a recruiter for a particular job, keep the recruiter abreast of what’s going on in the interview process.  I’ve already told you to only work with recruiters you trust and respect, so you know that they will be keeping you abreast of what’s going on as well.

3) Please don’t tell a recruiter: “I would never say this on an interview, but…”  Guess what? You are on an interview.  Don’t forget that the recruiter is evaluating your every word and deciding whether or not to send you in for jobs.  They are the gatekeeper to a host of opportunities and you want them to throw away the lock, not put up barbed wire.

4) Don’t let a recruiter know that you are desparate – even if you are.  Nobody wants to hire someone who is desparate.  Hiring managers want to know what you can do for them, not what they can do for you.  If you come off desparate with a recruiter, they’re not going to want to send you in for interviews for fear that you will bomb. It’s hard to position yourself as someone who can make a “difference” in a company when your every word reveals that you are completely stressed out about needing a job.

5) Don’t be rude or nasty to a recruiter if you expect her to submit you as a candidate.  Ain’t gonna happen.

6) Leave the negativity at home. (This really should be #1.)

7) After you’ve gone on an interview that a recruiter sent you on, call her and let her know how it went, what your concerns are, or any questions you might have.  If the recruiter calls you after an interview, don’t wait 3 days to call her back.  Chances are her clients is looking for feedback from her. And, your lack of response will definitely turn her off and effect her decision as to whether or not she wants to work with you again.  If she doesn’t want to work with you again, doors of opportunity close.

8) If you are heavily interviewing and are close to a job offer, let the recruiter know.  She might be able to use this as leverage to get her client to move quicker.  At the very least, it is important to let anyone you are interviewing with know the status of your job search.

9) Don’t tell the recruiter that your salary requirements are one thing and then go on an interview that she set you up with and say something completely different.  Chances are, the recruiter already told her client what your money look like.

10) If you were laid off, don’t lie to a recruiter about it.  If she’s in your industry, she’ll have a ton of contacts and can easily find out the real scoop. And, I can tell you right now, if anyone lies to me,  I’ll never call him again.

Carpe diem…

1 Comment

  • Monex
    December 21, 2010

    You will want to make sure that you are working with a recruiter who specializes in your field Management Information technology Finance and Accounting etc. Honesty is essential in building this relationship and attaining the employment opportunity that you are interested in.

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