When a Recruiter Calls…

You’ve been called by a recruiter.  Finally…the jobs are starting to come to you.  What do you do now?  Here are some tips to help you respond when a recruiter calls: 

Research the recruiter.  It is always a good idea to research recruiters before you pursue any opportunities with them.  Consult your network to see if anybody is familiar with the recruiter.  Look at their website to see how they present themselves and to determine their area of specialty.  What types of clients do they usually work with?  Are they a good match with your career goals?

Ask for as many details as possible about the position.  Who is the employer?  What are the responsibilities of the position?  What projects would you be working on?  How many people would be in your department?  Where is the location?  All of this information will help you to prepare your resume and to decide if the position is a good fit.   

Customize your resume.  Using the information that you get from the recruiter, customize your resume to fit the position.  In most cases, the recruiter will present several potential candidates to the client.  It is up to you to make sure that your resume makes an impression. 

Be professional.  It is essential that you always behave professionally towards a recruiter.  If the recruiter has any doubts about your professionalism, they will not hesitate to remove you from consideration.  Always follow up when a recruiter calls you.  Recruiters don’t have time to chase after candidates.  Whenever you meet with a recruiter in person, dress as if you are going to a job interview.  Also, be sure that anything that you send to a recruiter is proofread and error-free. 

Be honest.  It is best to be up front with recruiters about what type of position you are targeting.  Don’t lead a recruiter on if you are not interested in the job.  Also, never exaggerate your skills or experience when talking to a recruiter.  Even if this particular position is not a good fit, the recruiter may link you to your dream job at some point in the future.  Maintain your relationship by being open and honest. 

Ask the recruiter about their confidentiality policy.  Some recruiters are very discreet, while others are not.  It is better if you know what to expect up front.  Also, by asking the question, you communicate to the recruiter that confidentiality is important to you.  This is essential if you are currently employed, as you don’t want your employer to find out that you are talking to a recruiter.

Beware of scams.  As a job seeker, you are vulnerable to potential scams.  This means that you need to be cautious, particularly when the recruiter is initiating the contact.  Don’t give the recruiter any information until you are confident that they are legitimate.  If you have any doubts about the recruiter, it is best to back away immediately.

Don’t expect too much.  Often the recruiter will be trying to bid for the account by presenting the employer with several ideal candidates.  There is likely still considerable competition for the position, and you may not even get an interview.  It is still worth pursuing the opportunity, but keep your options open and continue with your own job search.

Is is always encouraging when recruiters call you because it lets you know that there are opportunities available and that your skills are in demand.  However, it can be unnerving to work with recruiters, particularly if you don’t know what to expect.  If you do your research, ask lots of questions, and behave professionally, you will position yourself to turn that recruiter call into a job offer!

(Written By: Karen Bivand)

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