Two Things You Should Do When Working With a Recruiter To Help You Get Ahead
Simple ways to work with a recruiter, put your best foot forward, and separate yourself from others
A good friend of mine recently told me they were going to meet with a recruiter. And being a good friend, I gave unsolicited advice which I hope was useful but didn’t get the same sense from my friend.
Before I go on, I want to say I’m not a recruiter. My experience with recruiters has been working with them for a limited period and I have a few people in my network that are recruiters. So take my advice for how it looks: someone with limited experience with them. But nobody told me any of this when I was working with a recruiter, so I believe it’s worth sharing.
The best time to talk to a recruiter? Any time you need nothing from them.
Treat a recruiter like someone from your network, because they are, and they are valuable assets as someone in your network.
I can honestly say I haven’t done as good of a job managing my network. I talk to people when I need something from them. I message people out of the blue only when they serve my needs. It’s not the best way to cultivate and manage my network — I know that.
The lesson I learned is to talk to recruiters when you don’t need a job. What do you talk to them about?
Find out what the recruiters need. Are they looking for particular individuals? Are they looking to fill specific positions?
Recruiters are constantly getting bombarded with requests. What jobs are available I can apply for? What companies are looking for workers? How can I get a contract position? What rates should I charge?
So why not reverse this? Ask THEM what they want and need.
I wonder how many recruiters have people in their network asking for ways to help them out? Again, I don’t have a lot of experience with recruiters but I’m betting not a lot. And when you contact them, ask them what you can help with, and try to help (pointing them to individuals in your network that may be right for the position, etc.) then, with the law of reciprocity, they will want to return the favour.
One day, you might be out of work and since you already helped those recruiters before, they are likely more willing to help you than a random person in their network.
Does this only apply to a recruiter? Probably not. You can take these same principles and apply them to anyone in your network:
- Have regular conversations with people in your network, even when there’s nothing you need
- Ask “how can I help?” and offer whatever support you can. Maybe it’s a connection with your current company. Maybe it’s someone from your network.