A talented recruiter can be a great asset to your job search. Recruiters have the inside scoop on job openings, connections to hiring managers and can provide invaluable coaching to candidates. Yet, even the very best recruiters are limited by what their job candidates bring to the table. What makes for an effective recruiter-candidate partnership? We asked members of Aerotek’s Recruiter Panel to weigh in about what candidates can do to help their recruiters find them great jobs in 2017.Honesty is the best policy
In order to work on your behalf, the recruiter must be apprised of your employment history, skillsets and the status of your job search. For example, says Recruiter Lead, Kate Schendel, “When candidates aren’t transparent about other opportunities in the pipeline, it makes it much harder to help them.” Senior Professional Recruiter Sam Yeomans agrees. “I need to know where you have already applied and/or interviewed. Understanding where you are applying and what job you are truly interested in makes your recruiters job easier. They can focus on helping you find what you really want.
Likewise, being dishonest about topics, such as why you left your previous job, keeps you from getting the coaching your recruiter can provide about dealing with any issues that might arise during interviews.
“As much as it might be tempting to behave otherwise, always be honest and don’t withhold information you think may harm your chances of getting a job through a recruiter,” says Sarah Landrum of Skillcrush. “Keeping your recruiter in the dark makes the hiring process more difficult and may present unexpected challenges if you do end up getting hired.”Articulate your priorities
If you’re not sure what sort of job you want, it will be next to impossible for your recruiter to find an appropriate placement for you.
“If a candidate is “wishy-washy” [about what sort of job she wants] or changes his mind frequently, it makes it very difficult to place them. I prefer when a candidate has given her ideal job a lot of thought, and knows exactly what she’s looking for,” says Kate Keller, Sr. Professional Strategic Delivery Manager.
Being “too specific” or “too broad” can also be a hindrance, notes Sr. Professional Recruiter Jackie Ross.
For Sr. Professional Recruiter Matt Wiehe, finding the right job for a candidate comes down to what he calls the WIIFM or “What’s in it for me?”
“Once I know what candidates need — more money, better work-life balance, shorter commute, more opportunity to move up, etcetera, then I can be a better advocate for them,” says Wiehe.Clarify your career goals
Knowing where candidates want to be five years into the future helps Matthew Naples, account recruiting manager to find them the right jobs.
As Alison Green of Ask a Manager sees it, “…A candidate’s answer to this question will give useful insight into what they want out of the job and what their professional interests are. That matters to an interviewer because it can point to a strong or weak fit, and also … helps flesh out their understanding of who you are professionally.”Reach out
Your recruiter can provide a range of services from helping to craft your resume, to connecting you with insiders at the companies you want to work for, to coaching you on interview techniques and helping you through a relocation. The best way to ensure that your recruiter can be most helpful is to take advantage of all they offer. Maintain regular and honest communication, be open to your recruiter’s feedback and make sure she’s aware of anything that changes in your job search. Following these tips can dramatically increase your chances of landing a great job in 2017!