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Written by Dave Cullen

When you are in the market for a new job, there is no better way to maximise your potential opportunities than building a strong and productive relationship with a job recruiter. Before we begin, it is important to dispel a few common myths about recruiters. Firstly, their job is not to find you a suitable role, their job is to match the available opportunities of their clients with the best possible candidates they can find. This is an important distinction to make because simply calling a recruiter and asking them if they have any suitable jobs is both lazy and a misunderstanding of their function.

Secondly, recruiters aren’t simply gatekeepers to employment vacancies. Businesses have entrusted them with the task of understanding their needs, painstakingly sifting through the piles of applications and identifying the right talent for the role. Remember that a recruiter has a key insight into the requirements and culture of the business you are applying to work for. This means they possess invaluable information, which you should take advantage of.

Prior to the actual job interview, the recruiter will determine if you should be put forward for the role and may conduct a competency-based interview with you. This is an excellent chance for you to not only demonstrate your strengths but also recognise the areas you need to work on. In this regard, a recruiter acts a lot like a mentor because they are effectively giving you a mock-interview free of charge, which will help you to practice your answers for the real interview.

The following is a list of 3 ways you can build a productive relationship with a recruiter.

Research the role: Before you make initial contact with the recruiter, conduct some research into the role. Read the job advertisement thoroughly and familiarise yourself with the requirements and responsibilities. Take some time to think about how you can deliver value to the position and get to work on tailoring your CV accordingly. For more information on producing a great CV, check out the following blog: 5 Tips for improving your CV.

Pick up the phone & be honest: When compared to an email, a phone call is always a more personal and meaningful way of opening a dialogue with someone. Make sure that your initial communication with the recruiter is a purposeful one. Honesty is the foundation of any positive and productive relationship. For example, it is important that you be upfront about your past employment experience, fully explain any gaps on your CV and answer any questions about salary expectations. If another job opportunity presents itself, don’t leave the recruiter in the dark; let them know what’s going on. Complete transparency is a must.

Sell yourself: The recruiter is your representative to the employer and they will attempt to sell you to the best of their ability. However, they can only go by what you tell them. It is vital that you modestly sell your talents, experience, knowledge and achievements and ensure that you communicate the value you will add the company.

For more career advice, check out the following articles: First impressions: Maximising your personal brand and How following industry trends can help your job search.

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