career rescue Here’s how to work with recruiters successfully
Working with recruiters will play a role throughout your career, however the key to maintaining a good relationship is communication.
The same habits that build lasting networking connections holds true with recruiting relationships, so it’s important to have a personal connection.
Recruiters remember candidates who stay in touch and build rapport throughout the year during the downturns and growth of the marketplace.
Before you reach out to a recruiter, it helps to understand their process, since they work for clients to fill jobs, not to find jobs for candidates. Being aware of their role helps you avoid frustration when your job search lingers.
There are several things that candidates can do to build successful relationships with recruiters.
According to Mary Hudson, executive recruiter with United Global Solutions, “Job candidates need to continue their efforts in keeping a recruiting relationship strong by staying in touch through updates. Even though you might be currently working, it helps to keep the recruiter informed of your career progress and promotions.”
Another important key in working with recruiters is knowing what you are looking for in a job. Hudson mentioned the absence of self-insight.
“You might be surprised to know how many candidates lack the ability to clearly describe what they are looking for in a job and difficulty in evaluating their own experience,” Hudson said.
You need to know “why” certain things are important to you in your career. For example, Hudson asks most candidates, “What is important to them in a company or in a position?” If they can’t answer that question, that’s a clue they need more personal insight with their career.
Hudson recommends keeping a book of successes, where once a month or every quarter you record your accomplishments and results. You need to spend time thinking about your present career as well as what you want in the future.
Here are some quick tips for working with recruiters:
• Keep your communication clear as well as what you are looking for in the future.
• Highlight your diverse workplace experience and a “can-do” attitude. Working independently as well as on a team are skills that will help advance your career.
• Have a plan. Talking with a recruiter without one sends the message you are indecisive and vague. It’s difficult to sell your abilities when you can’t articulate them.
• Talk about what you want to do now instead of what you have done in the past.
• Keep an updated resume by focusing on your contributions. A recruiter wants to know your present value you bring to an employer, regardless of your experience.
• Be honest. Nothing ruins a recruiting relationship faster than being dishonest. If you are working with other recruiting firms, say so. Withholding information creates a mistrust.
Kimberly Thompson is a board-certified counselor. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or Houston Chronicle, P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210. Visit her blog at www.blogs.chron.com/careerrescue.