Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Choosing a Recruiter

As a job seeker, chances are you will work with a recruiter at one time or another during your search. The function of the recruiter is to market your skills and promote your work history to their client companies. A recruiter works with you, but not for you. Rather, they work for their corporate customers paying their fees. It's an important distinction to remember when you collaborate with a recruiter. Therefore, you want to be sure the recruiter is genuinely interested in representing you and you are confident they will actively promote your qualifications to their clients.

The best way to select a recruiter is to speak with someone who has worked with that recruiter before and knows his or her work ethics. Ideally the referral will come from a colleague in your profession and understands your line of work and the industry. If you do not have a referral you can go to staffing and recruiting associations to gather information about the staffing company the recruiter works for.

When looking for a staffing company, remember that each firm has a different personality and way of working with candidates and their client companies. Take the time to make sure you are comfortable with how they operate. Do they take the time to ask you about your career goals, job likes/dislikes, what sort of position you are interested in? Find out if they offer other services like career counseling, resume advice etc. Again talk with friends and colleagues for referrals.

Be proactive when talking with recruiters and interview them. Don't be passive in the process; it's your career you are depending on them to help you with. Clearly communicate what you are looking for and ask to be directed to the person in the company that handles your area of expertise.

Lastly, get references. Ask them for the names of other candidates they have worked with to get an objective evaluation of the company.

Right now the leading method for recruiters to find candidates is through the Internet. Almost everyone looking for a job has posted his or her resume somewhere. A lot of recruiters will see your resume in a very short period of time and you should be able to identify a good recruiter with genuine job leads. Here's a quick checklist to go by when you are first contacted: