5 Tips for Working With a Recruiter 

It’s no secret that searching for a job is hard.

Whether it’s looking for the best time to apply, coordinating interviews or playing the waiting game to hear back from an employer, finding your next career stop requires tremendous work and good faith.

While some job seekers embark on the job search journey alone, others find support alongside seasoned career advocates known as recruiters.

Partnering with a recruiter from a staffing company can be a vast resource when trying to find your next role. Establishing a relationship with a recruiter presents endless opportunities, such as access to an expanded network, hidden job markets, resume help, salary negotiation assistance and a streamlined job search.

Looking for a job on your own can be difficult amid mounting competition and the fluctuating job market. If a role is not a good fit, candidates are often out of luck. On the other hand, agency recruiters work on multiple jobs across various companies and industries at a time. If one opportunity doesn’t pan out, chances are that a recruiter still has something for you that could be a better fit.

Imagine entering a drive-through restaurant with one menu opposed to a mall food court filled with multiple restaurants. With recruiters, you have options—a buffet of possibilities.


The nice part about working with a staffing services firm is that you are essentially crowdsourcing your job search efforts.

– Ryan Lynch, Kforce Client Relationship Executive

And the best perk of all—it’s free!

The benefits of partnering with a recruiter are endless, but you should know how to work with one effectively. As a job seeker, it’s vital to prepare for working with a recruiter. Check out these five tips to aid your recruiter in finding the job of your dreams:

1. Ask questions

Have you ever worked with a recruiter? If not, ask about their process and current roles to set realistic expectations. Asking the right questions will help you gain valuable insight into job opportunities, potential employers and how a recruiter operates.

Being inquisitive will enable you to make informed decisions about whether a recruiter, job and/or employer is right for you. Knowledge is power. Consider the following questions the next time you speak to a recruiter:

  • What type of roles do you fill?
  • What industries do you work in?
  • Do you work with a team of recruiters?
  • How long has this position been open, and when will it close?
  • What is the need for this role?
  • How would you describe this position or employer?
  • What are the top reasons candidates haven’t been chosen?
  • What kind of candidate is this employer looking for?

2. Showcase your professionalism

The job market is competitive. And to ensure that you’re always in the running, it’s imperative that your brand illustrates your potential and what people envision when working with you.

As a potential job candidate, you’ll be representing your recruiter and their firm during interviews and employment. It’s imperative to always be on your best footing. Consider the following suggestions when showcasing your professionalism:

  • When meeting a recruiter or employer, always dress appropriately.
  • On the phone, hold yourself professionally in the same regard.
  • During interviews, be courteous and prepared.
  • Be energetic and enthusiastic.
  • Be accountable and reliable.

3. Be honest about your motivators

It’s also critical to remember when working with a recruiter to be transparent about your wants and needs in a role. Honesty is always the best policy, and the same applies to recruiters. All relationships flourish with open communication.

Recruiters ultimately want you to be happy in your dream job. To achieve this, you’ll have to do a little soul searching. You’ll also have to communicate your desires effectively.

Think of a recruiter as your tailor. No one wants a new dress or suit that’s too baggy or small. We all want the perfect fit. That’s why it’s critical to leave nothing up to interpretation. Consider the following questions when figuring out your job motivators:

  • What are your non-negotiables?
  • What company culture, environment and benefits do you desire?
  • What are your salary requirements?
  • What is your desired commute?
  • What are your short- and long-term career goals?
  • What is your job search timeline?

4. Be available

We all live busy lives, and work isn’t an exception. Having a productive relationship with a recruiter requires commitment, and that means being responsive.

While recruiters will try to accommodate your schedule, it’s a best practice that you make yourself reasonably available. The employment landscape moves at an incredible rate, and often employers need talent sooner than later. Opportunities pass quickly, so be ready when they arise. Here are some tips to ensure you’re as accessible as possible:

  • Check your email and voicemails regularly.
  • Follow up promptly when communicated with.
  • Establish a preferred communication model.
  • Identify the best times for contact.

5. Keep them updated

Meaningful relationships don’t happen without frequent communication. If you seek a lifelong career advocate, attempt to stay in touch with your recruiter. Wherever you are in your job search, it’s essential to maintain a strong relationship. Consider the following activities to keep your recruiter in the know:

  • Stay in touch about your job search progress.
  • Schedule regular, but courteous check-ins.
  • Approach your recruiter with any issues or concerns.
  • Provide feedback about how things are going.
  • Share recent promotions, acquired skills and new positions.
  • Be proactive in sharing your current resume and career goals.

Find Work

Conquering the job search

Without a doubt, finding a job can be overwhelming. However, partnering with a recruiter can help you navigate the job search. Use these timeless tips to not only create a healthy relationship with your recruiter but also a strong ally in your career advancement.

Are you interested in more job search resources? Check out our 2020 Job Search Guide for comprehensive tips and advice on landing your dream role.

Expert Advice You Need to Land a Job in 2021