How to work with recruiters (to land your dream job)

Their job is to find good job candidates for their clients. Here’s how you can help your recruiter or headhunter help you in getting your ideal job.

It can be a daunting task when it comes to looking for a new job. Some of the best available jobs in competitive markets like Hong Kong may not be featured publicly or you may not be searching for them in the right way.

This is where a recruitment firm can come in to offer valuable guidance and support. Headhunters have a wide array of contacts and are adept at matching professionals to the right company fit. Here are some best practices to remember on how to work with recruiters:

Stand out

First and foremost, make it easy for recruiters to find you. Start by posting your resume onto the recruiting firm’s website directly or on job sites.

Next, develop an elevator pitch summarising your key strengths and experiences. This will come in handy where you pitch yourself to a potential employer. Be it networking at industry events or making a strong presence online – you would want to be visible for the right reasons.

Be direct

During your first meeting with a recruiter or recruiting agency, give a detailed outline of your career goals. Lay out the types of positions, salary packages and locations you’d consider. Establish what are your non-negotiables and the areas where you’re willing to make a compromise.

All these would go into making your recruiter’s work easier and you can be sure you would most certainly be top of mind when a suitable opening comes up.

Honesty pays

Avoid exaggerating – or worse, lying. Your recruiter can’t do a good job of matching job to candidate unless you’re upfront about your skills, education and work history.

You can depend on reputable agencies to maintain confidentiality and use discretion when discussing your professional background with potential employers. Be sure to let your recruiter know if you are going for other interviews that are not arranged by him too. That’ll help avoid possible miscommunication down the line.

Keep it professional

Do not harass your recruiter incessantly about updates to the interview you just went. Remember that the recruiter is juggling multiple clients and candidates at any one time, and the last thing he’d need is someone constantly on his case. Check in with your headhunter at regular, respectful intervals and convey that you would appreciate any updates that come his way.

Pay it forward

Don’t treat your relationship with your recruiter as a one-off after you have snagged the job. Continue to be of value by recommending your peers or members of your network to them. Chances are this will help your recruiter to remember you when the next career opportunity comes along.

Recruiters can be strong allies in your career advancement. They can help review your resume, offer interview tips, update you on industry trends and provide precious insider tips about employers they’ve worked with. Once you get to know how to work with recruiters, your mutual relationship with a good recruiter will benefit you along your entire career.

Take a look at our find a job hub for more job search tips and advice.