Be the Job Seeker Recruiters Love

By Jessica L. Benjamin - Recruitment Advertising - Boston

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I think there is a common misunderstanding that recruiters work to find job seekers jobs. Your recruiter’s job isn’t to find you a dream job, although many are happy when they do. They work for the hiring company, and their ultimate responsibility is to them.

The client provides an outline and specifications for the ideal candidate.  Often these specifications have aspects that may seem rigid or silly, but if you don’t fit those specifications, the recruiter will lose credibility for recommending you. It will appear that the recruiter doesn’t understand or care about what the customer, the hiring company, has requested.

Once you have engaged with a recruiter, be a very good listener. Provide them with everything they need as quickly as possible. If they give you feedback on your resume, thank them and make the changes immediately.  This is free consulting for you. They know what the hiring company wants and can help you tailor your resume to fit the job.

Once the recruiter connects you with the hiring company, make sure to keep them in the loop about all of your meetings and interactions. Often the company will be too busy to update the recruiter on everything, so if someone asks you to come in for an interview, email your recruiter to let them know.

Then leave plenty early for the interview because being late is incredibly rude. If the job is a professional role, wear a suit, shine your shoes, and wear minimal jewelry, perfume, and makeup. If you arrive earlier than five minutes before the interview, amuse yourself by waiting in your car or a coffee shop and review your notes. Visualize meeting someone that you will really like and the interview going smoothly.

Arrive inside the building five minutes early. Be incredibly polite to anyone you encounter at the company, particularly the receptionist who is often asked about your behavior.

Right after the interview, email your recruiter and let them know how things went and how YOU feel.

At this point, if you have trepidations about the position, this is not the time to keep them to yourself. If there is a chance that you will get an offer and decline it, it’s a best practice to apprise the recruiter of the situation and see if your issues can be resolved or if you should stop wasting everyone’s time, especially your own, and withdraw your application. 

Almost nothing is more irritating that putting forth a lot of effort to get a job candidate an offer and then have them surprise you by turning the job down.  It makes the recruiter look like they don’t understand their candidate.

As soon as you accept an offer, be sure to email your recruiter and let them know.

If you follow these steps, even if you don’t get an offer, the recruiter will likely remember that you were a good candidate and tell you about other jobs that might be appropriate for you.


This is written from an American point of view. Recruiters? What do you think? Is this relevant for your country? Would this be an ideal candidate for you?

Views expressed are my own. Follow me on Twitter at @JLBHireCalling

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