Contacting Recruiter

3 Things You Should Know Before Contacting A Recruiter


Considering contacting a recruiter to find out about executive or leadership jobs in your field? Many job hunters assume forging connections with recruiters will put them closer to lucrative, high-level positions that aren’t otherwise advertised.

Watch: 3 Tips For Making Your Resume Stand Out To Recruiters

However, a successful recruiter-job seeker relationship doesn’t just happen. It’s important to understand the relationship among all involved parties (the recruiter, company, and you), get your resume in top shape, and to be ready to deal with potential objections.

3 Things To Know Before Contacting A Recruiter

These tips will help you prepare to work effectively with a recruiter—with better results from the relationship and a faster outcome for your job search:

1. Recruiters Often Source Candidates Who’ve Been There, Done That

Career professionals and executives that have followed a straight-line, traditional career trajectory (and very few job changes) are the best candidates for working with a recruiter.

The reason? Recruiters are hired by companies to identify talent among leaders who can demonstrate commitment to a specific type of career or skill set, with steady advancement toward a senior-level role in their particular field.

Therefore, if you’re trying to switch between one job type to another, or you’ve hopped among different employers frequently, you’ll often fare better by contacting employers directly.

2. A Recruiter’s Mission Is To Focus On Their Client’s Needs

What many job hunters fail to grasp is that recruiter job orders often contain specific detail on the background, education, career history, and competencies  of the ideal candidate.

Depending upon the recruiter’s relationship with their clients, they may not be able to convince the company to take a chance on your background—especially if it’s not in line with these requirements.

A recruiter must not only be comfortable with the strength of your credentials, but confident that you represent a true personality and leadership fit within their client companies. After all, the recruiter’s professional reputation (and future commissions) are riding on their ability to supply the all-around perfect candidate.

3. Your Resume Must Be Ready To Present To Their Clients

Too often, job seekers dash off a resume to recruiters that undercuts their abilities—making it difficult for the recruiter to promote the job hunter as a viable candidate.

If your leadership resume hasn’t had a review from colleagues or a resume professional, it can be worth your time to request a critique or suggestions. Some recruiters even refer their clients to career coaches that can elicit a strong brand message on the resume.

Others can often see qualities in your background that you’re too close to realize, and their recommendations can make the difference in the response you receive from a recruiter.

As a job hunting method, working with recruiters can be very effective, but only if you go in with an awareness of your role, fitness as a candidate, and realistic expectations.

This post was originally published on an earlier date.

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Is Your Resume Ready For A Recruiter?
Only 3 Things Impress Recruiters On A Resume
What’s A Recruiter’s Favorite Word And Why Should You Care?

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Laura Smith-Proulx

Multi-credentialed executive resume writer Laura Smith-Proulx of An Expert Resume is the #1 U.S. TORI resume award record-holder and a published global expert on executive branding and LinkedIn strategies.


  1. Back in end of December 2013, there was a staffing agency that reached out to me from their way on LinkedIn and they do not charge a fee. They encouraged me to contact them. I have and provided personal info and my preferences and stated specifically temp to hire, but have not heard from them on anything yet. I did a follow up call 3 weeks to a month after 1st contact. They have locations in various parts of South. I wonder what I should do specifically? Thanks!

  2. I met with several recruiters in 2013. Every single one was 25-30. I am 54. I got the feeling that they wanted me out of the office as quick as possible. In fact one recruiter actually RAN from the room when the interview was over. When I’ve called to follow-up,

    I get no callback or email follow-up, or I’m told the job is …
    (1) no longer available;
    (2) I’m missing a key skill (not mentioned in the posting);
    (3) I’m not “ready” for the position.

    When I try following up with the agencies head office, my emails are not answered. If they didn’t want to help me why did they make that offer?

  3. If you work with a seasoned recruiter, number 1 may not be true. My personal experience with a recruiter actually helped me define a more specific career path. See my blog about it here:

  4. All true.

    Here are a couple of other things people should take into account before reaching out to a recruiter.

    The location thing: It seems that people often figure that if I work out of Tacoma, WA, I must be savvy about ALL jobs available in Tacoma. Not true! Actually, I recruit nationally, sometimes internationally. I’m usually out of touch with what the needs are in Tacoma.

    The specialization thing: I have industries I specialize in. I recruit mostly in PR and energy-oriented industries. A weird mix, I know, but it works. So, when someone calls me looking for a retail job or something in teaching, I’m not always the best resource to help.

    I’d prefer candidates take a look at my LinkedIn profile before calling, see what (if anything) we have in common and contact me if they think I can truly help them. Otherwise, without my spending time doing research for them which they can / should do for themselves and which takes time away from what my clients are paying me to do, my advice may not be particularly helpful.

    Just sayin’…………..


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