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During your job search, there’s a good chance you’ll be contacted by at least one recruiter. Recruiters are hired by companies to source the best candidates for their open positions. Often, recruiters work for multiple companies and therefore have a number of openings to fill. So if you’re contacted by a recruiter during your job search, you should seize the opportunity to work with him/her.

Here are some some best practices for working with recruiters that will make the process more efficient and straightforward.

Be Honest

The biggest piece of advice for a job seeker working with a recruiter is to be honest with them. Be truthful when discussing your qualifications and background, tell the recruiter the kind of jobs you want or don’t want, your salary requirements, and if you have any personal obligations (think family vacations or or other upcoming scheduled trips) that may interfere either with your search, interview schedule or working dates for potential positions. If you go on an interview for a job and realize it’s not what you’re looking for, tell your recruiter, so they can adjust the kind of opportunities they find for you. Honesty can be the biggest time saver for both job seeker and recruiter.

Ask Many Questions

Likewise, good recruiters will have honest answers to your questions, so don’t hesitate to ask. Recruiters are a wealth of information when it comes to the industry and specific job roles. For example, ask the recruiter about potential gaps in your resume, and how you can properly address them to the potential employer. Additionally, recruiters often have insight into a company’s culture or leadership team. Asking for details will not only give you an idea of whether you think the company is a fit but also prepares you for the type of people you will encounter during the interview process. Finally, since recruiters work directly with the hiring companies, they have the inside scoop about whether the salary for a position is negotiable or if they won’t budge, saving you time in your job search if you can’t accept a salary below a certain amount.

Don’t Go Around a Recruiter to The Employer

It may seem like a good idea to have a recruiter locate a great position for you, then to contact the hiring company directly — but this is not advisable. The company hired the recruiter, and if you’re a good match for the position, the recruiter most likely has presented your information to them. If you then apply directly, the company will know that you went behind the recruiters back to apply. This behavior is generally considered unethical, can send a red flag to employers, and can cause problems when determining who gets credit for your candidacy. Also remember that it’s a small world, so you don’t want to anger or turn off recruiters, who are often well-connected.

Interested in working with a recruiter? Use SimplyHired.com to find jobs listed by recruiters. Simply type in the keyword and/or location of your job search, then filter by “Recruiters Only.”

Remember that the role of recruiters is to find people to fill positions for their clients, so consider recruiters allies in your job hunt. Establishing a trusting relationship with your recruiter can result in a faster job search now, as well as down the line when looking for positions in the future.

If you’re interested in working with a recruiter to discover your next job, you can use SimplyHired.com to find jobs from recruiters. Just perform your search and select “Recruiters Only” under the Recruiters filter.


Have you worked with a recruiter or found a job through one?  Share your experience in the comments.