When you find a recruiter you gel with it can be the beginning of a career-long relationship, a trusted partner you can turn to for professional advice at any stage of your career – even when you’re not actively looking for a new job.

It’s worth remembering that a lot of jobs don’t get advertised, because successful companies will often hire good people even when they’re not actively recruiting. Equally, you might be happy with your current job but be inspired by a new company. You’re much more likely be the first to hear about opportunities if you have a good relationship with a specialist recruiter.

Always remember that your recruiter is there to manage your reputation in a competitive market, and the better your relationship the better they can do their job.

  • If you can, meet your recruiter in person.
  • Build a rapport with your recruiter. They need to get to know and understand you in order to be able to give the best advice.
  • Open and honest communication is critical if you are to form a long lasting partnership.
  • Don’t work with more than two or three recruiters at a time. If one recruiter has lots of opportunities for you, consider working with them exclusively – it can make managing your application process much simpler.
  • The right recruiter will make you feel at ease, demonstrate commitment to you and confidence in your abilities, and take the time to listen to you.
  • Listen to their industry knowledge – few people are plugged in to your industry in the same way a recruiter is. They will likely have excellent knowledge of industry news and what it’s like to work in particular companies.
  • Make recommendations – few people are plugged into your industry in the same way that you are, either, and any recruiter will appreciate hearing about good people.
  • Be open and honest so that you can plan a genuinely strategic search together.
  • The recruiter knows what their clients want, so be prepared to listen to their advice on your CV and interview technique.
  • Ask for advice on interview technique. Your recruiter will know their clients well, so you can get specific advice about the people who will interview you, as well as just general tips.
  • Be honest about who you have approached – there’s nothing worse for a recruiter than contacting a client, with whom they have a good relationship, on your behalf to find that your CV is already on file there – this damages your reputation too.
  • Stay in touch. Be reliable. I suppose that’s quite good advice in general, but I promise you it’ll be especially appreciated by a recruiter!

Now that I’ve typed these tips out, they seem fairly obvious… but I promise, if you can stick to all of them, you’ll have a great relationship with a great recruiter and that could have a huge impact on your career.

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