By Kathy Spearing | August 14, 2020


As the number of unemployed professionals remains high due to the impact of the COVID crisis, many professionals are searching for new roles. While there are valuable resources online that can walk you through the many stages of a job search, the process can be challenging—especially, given these unique times.

One way to ease your job search is to enlist the help of a recruiter.

When you team-up with a credible recruiting or consulting firm, you’ll find recruiters can be great partners for you. They not only can identify open positions that meet your skillset and requirements, but can prepare you for interviews, negotiations and job offers.

Sometimes candidates don’t have access to specific networks the way recruiters do—and that intel is crucial. There may be more open roles, projects or assignments available than you necessarily come across when scrolling through the popular online job boards.

Brilliant just so happens to specialize in this topic. Therefore, I thought it was a good time to discuss some best practices for working with a recruiter. See my 7 Tips for Working with a Recruiter below.

  1. Find a recruiter who shows interest.
    You should speak with several recruiters to see who is right for you. When talking with them, see if they show a genuine interest in what you want. They should ask you detailed questions to get a sense of your goals and aspirations. Make sure the recruiter acknowledges your needs and is clear of your end-goal. Once you sense you’re both on the same page, let the recruiter know you’d like them to represent you in the next stage of your career!
  1. Ask questions.
    To get to know the recruiter better, ask them questions about their experience:
  • How many people with my background have you helped get hired in the last year?
  • Can you provide referrals from other candidates you’ve helped find jobs?
  • Do you specialize in a certain area?
  • What are you doing differently to help professionals during the pandemic?
  • Who pays your fee? (It should be the hiring company. It should not be you.)

If the recruiter can easily answer these questions or at the very least are honest as they can be to answer these questions, then you’ve likely found a good recruiter who can help you.

  1. Set a communication cadence.
    Once you have a recruiter, get a clear understanding of how often they will be communicating with you. Let them know how frequently you want to talk or meet virtually and then follow up as needed. Make sure you ask for updates on any of the open roles they’ve discussed with you.
  1. Ask to be notified.
    Recruiters generally have to “submit” you to a company in order for you to get considered for a role. Make sure you ask the recruiter to notify you anytime they submit you for a position. This will give you a good idea of all the work they’re doing on your behalf. It also will help you know what to follow up on with them.
  1. Inform the recruiter.
    When you partner with a recruiter, they are doing your job search for you. Make sure you let the recruiter know when you apply for a position on your own so that there is no overlap. Often, a recruiter cannot help you if you’ve already applied to a position at a business they are actively recruiting for. It’s best to let them do what they do best and you hold off on submitting resumes during this time.
  1. Take the offer to prep.
    The recruiter will want to prepare you for any interview you go on whether that be a phone, in-person or virtual call. They will cover what questions to ask and how to present your experience to the interviewer(s). They will also give you a background on the company. Take their advice and be sure to follow any recommendations they give.
  1. Discuss compensation.
    Be honest with the recruiter on your salary requirements. Recruiters know the market and the average salaries for your skill level. Having an open discussion will keep everyone on the same page. In some states, recruiters or future employers can no longer ask your salary history. Be sure you are aware of the current regulations for your location.

To talk with one of Brilliant’s recruiters, click here. 

What other tips do you have for working with recruiters? Comment below and let us know!


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