7 Do’s and Don’ts for Working with a Recruiter in Your Job Search

For Candidates

working with a recruiter

When looking for a new position, working with a recruiter is a great option that not everyone considers. Recruiters can act as a guide by scheduling and prepping you for the interview, providing useful feedback, and mediating salary. As executive search consultants, we know the do’s and don’ts of the process and hope to share our knowledge with those who are interested in working with a recruiter.

Who to Target 

Do: Target appropriate recruiters who specialize in your level of experience and within your industry. Recruiting companies focus on different practice areas and fields, so be sure you are reaching out to relevant firms. 

Don’t: Expect any and every recruiter you contact to find a job within your specific niche. For example, if you are looking for an entry-level position, an executive recruiter may not be able to help you. 

How We Operate 

Do: Understand that we work for the client, not the candidate. In other words, employers approach us with a position they need filled, and it is our job to find an exceptional talent pool that meets their expectations. From there, it is up to the client to select who would fit the role best. 

Don’t: Take it personally if you do not hear from us immediately regarding a position. Even if your background does not match the requirements for our current open positions, we may have an appropriate position for you in the future. As much as we would like to help everyone, we can only assist you if a job opening with one of our clients matches your background. 

Constructing your Resume 

Do: Make sure your resume is clear and concise, and that all relevant information is presented in an easy-to-read format. Another tip is to include numbers, such as dollar amounts demonstrating increased revenue, or how many people you manage. Having concrete facts helps us market your background and skillset to the employer. 

Don’t: Lie on your resume. If you get far enough into the process, it is likely that your education or experience will need to be verified. It is in your best interest to keep your resume truthful. If you are lying right out of the gate, it is possible you do not have the skills necessary to successfully perform the job.


Importance of Honesty 

Do: Be honest and open with your recruiter. Know what you want and make up your mind. Does the job meet your expectations in salary and location? Are you really willing to move across the country? Make sure you are serious about the position by asking the right questions to avoid a last-minute change of heart. Voice any concerns early on so they can be addressed.  As a recruiter, we are here to help you and are counting on you to stick to your commitment and see it through. 

Don’t: Let it get to the final stages of the interview process if you are not actually considering the job. It is a waste of everyone’s time if you are not serious about the position, and it could jeopardize your chances of being considered by this recruiter or employer in the future –  especially in smaller industries where everyone knows each other.

Make Yourself Available 

Do: Be accessible to your recruiter in order for the process to go as smoothly as possible. If you are going out of town or know you will not be available for a few days, let them know right away. 

Don’t: Disappear or go MIA in the middle of the interview process. If you are working with a recruiter and are being considered as a candidate, time is of the essence. It also makes us nervous if we suddenly cannot get a hold of you, and not to mention, it prolongs the timeline for a decision to be made.

Leave the Negotiation to Us 

Do: Let us mediate compensation negotiations. 

Don’t: Try to take it into your own hands. We are familiar with the industry and comparative salaries and have done this time and time again. We know how to handle this part of the process in your best interest. 

Keep in Touch 

Do: Stay in touch even after you get a job. We like to maintain contact with you and know that things are going well. You never know when you may need our advice, or you might even be able to help us in the future by recommending your colleagues for other searches. 

Don’t: Disappear into thin air. You might miss out on a new opportunity with us. A relationship with a recruiter could be beneficial further along in your career. 

Though searching for a job can be daunting, working with a recruiter can alleviate some of the stress, and help you find a great job that suits your skills and experience. We hope that these tips from an insider’s perspective will help you in your current or future job searches.

Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 50 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; Hotels and Resorts; Travel, Tourism, and Attractions; Facilities and Concessions; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Restaurant; Hospital and Healthcare; and Nonprofit industries.

If you’re interested in working with Bristol Associates, click here if you’re an employer or here if you’re a candidate.

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