How To Work With A Recruiter

Dear LolaCat –

I’ve heard you can land a great job by going through a recruiting agency. Do I just send them my resume and put my feet up with a cup of coffee until they get me a great job? What should I know about working with a recruiter?

~Eileen On A Job Hunt

Dear Eileen –

I’m the chief cat around here and overseeing the activities from my penthouse can be quite trying. I have Lola_Cat_Deskvarious humans at my disposal who must be supervised at all times to ensure that my needs are exceeded every day. My water bowl must always be full, and my meals are to be served on time each and every day. If any of these are not to my liking, my keepers must be reprimanded immediately with a scratch or by withholding my attention for a time.

This works well and is a long held feline tradition but recruiters, however, are a different bowl of fish and those tactics don’t work at all.

Here are four ways to work with a recruiter that will have everyone purring.

1) Work with a recruiter you trust and who communicates well.
Your recruiter will represent you to their clients and should have a good understanding of what you are looking for and where you are coming from. They need to know your superpowers, and all about your past positions so choose one that you trust and be proactive about making sure they are clear on what you have to offer. They are your advocates so being clear with them on what you are looking for also sets the stage for success.

3) Be a team player.
For a recruiter, success is in keeping both your best interests and those of the hiring company in mind so you have to trust them to do this. A recruiter wins by matching the right candidate to the right position for the long term. It’s an art as much as it is a science and they have the inside track on the job placement so taking the position of being part of the team to make this happen goes a long way.

2) Don’t be coy.
If you don’t hear from them, it doesn’t mean they have forgotten about you. Recruiters understand that the requirements for each position can vary greatly even if position titles are similar. As much as they would like to submit you for every single position, it may not be possible given their clients’ instructions and prerequisites.

3) Touch base regularly.
I don’t advise just putting your feet up and assuming a recruiter will one day find you the perfect job. Only cats like me can pull that off.  Your recruiter might not be able to follow up with you every week, so instead try to follow up by email to let them know that you are still available and excited to hear about any new opportunities. How often?  Once a week should do the trick but it’s important to keep them updated right away if you have other interviews or if you expect your position to change.

Aloof is for cats so if you stop checking in periodically, they can easily assume you have found work and are no longer available. So don’t give up!

4) Be patient.
Every day I see new job placements coming in and it can be dizzying to see all those resumes flying around. Some days I can’t even hear myself purr through all those phone calls about great candidates and new opportunities. If you keep in mind the first 3 items on the list you will be well positioned for the right opportunity when it comes along. Just understand that it might not come immediately and as we can learn from the feline world – it’s best to be patient and ready to pounce on a new opportunity when it comes.

Best wishes and fresh catnip,

Lola*Cat

Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com


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