Finding your next job can be a daunting task, especially if you’re tackling the challenge alone, which makes it understandable why recruiters can seem like the perfect solution. They’re someone to stand in your corner and help advertise you to hiring companies. However, not every recruiter will provide you with a great experience, and if you’ve had a negative interaction with them in the past it can make the prospect of reaching out to a recruiter worrisome.
At Hitmarker we want to make your job hunt as easy as possible, so we’ve decided to clarify some information surrounding recruiters and help you make the most out of them to support your job search.
Let’s define some terms before we go any further.
Internal recruiter/talent acquisition:
These recruiters are employed directly by the company they’re hiring for. When you apply through a company website, for example, it’ll nearly always be the talent acquisition team that evaluates your application. Since they’re specific to a company, you have the chance to show improvement if you apply multiple times over a long period, since you know the same person or team will see your application.
These are very different from external recruiters, which we’ll explain next.
Recruiters that work for specific agencies, rather than directly for the hiring company, are called external recruiters. This means that if you’re working with them, you could be helped with your applications. In the best cases, this could get you more interviews in a shorter period of time.
However, since their commission is based on getting you a job, you have to consider that they may be more incentivised to place as many people as they can rather than finding you a perfect fit, which is why it’s so important that you find a good recruiter to work with (more on that later).
A mix of the two above, hybrid recruiters work within a studio via a recruitment agency. These professionals are usually paid monthly by the hiring company whether they fill roles immediately or not. This position has more insight into the way a company recruits, and often tries to make hiring faster and easier for the candidates, which is excellent news for you as a job seeker.
The main drawback to this kind of recruiter is that they’ll have their own priorities that may not line up with your exact profile, so again you need to make sure you evaluate each opportunity for yourself as well to make sure you’d be happy there.
Now that we understand a little more about the different kinds of recruiters, let’s talk about how recruiters find you.
Getting found by recruiters
Being approached by a recruiter can be very helpful, especially when you’re actively job searching. The very nature of them reaching out means they think you might be a fit for their job, which is a promising start to get off to.
Of course, tenured professionals who receive messages from recruiters every week might want to avoid this as much as possible, but what can you do to help recruiters find you?
Generally, recruiters are drawn to your profile by how you present yourself on sites like LinkedIn. This isn’t necessarily about having the most stunning profile—although that certainly won’t hurt—but rather about having a complete and accurate description of yourself and what you’ve achieved. Some of the information recruiters use to filter through LinkedIn profiles includes:
Years of experience
Years in the role
Including some keywords related to your sector prominently on your LinkedIn profile can also help you appear in common searches. For example, if you’re looking to be found by recruiters in the sales sector, then prominently mentioning your partnership and business development skills will help people find you — even if you don’t include the exact job titles you’ve held before.
Doing this will increase the chance of you being approached by a recruiter, but what happens when one actually reaches out to you? Well, a recruiter will likely ask for some general information about yourself and your current position. This can be the most worrying part of the process, as some of these queries can be uncomfortable to discuss.
We’ve created a list of some of the most common areas recruiters will want to go into, along with advice on how you can respond.
When considering you for a role, your resume is the obvious thing that a recruiter will ask to see. This may be publicly available on your profile if you’ve included a link to it, in which case the recruiter will be asking for permission to share your resume with prospective employers. You don’t have to give them a copy — or approval — when they initially ask on LinkedIn.
Some recruiters are judged on how many resumes they send to companies, so you should ask a few questions about the role first to avoid it being sent to companies you’d never work for. Be clear about what you’re looking for and what you require before sending your resume over. This will ensure that only companies you want to work at are sent your profile.
You don’t need to reveal your current salary to a recruiter if you don’t want to. Instead, you can give a salary range that would be of interest to you. This one especially applies to if you’re being approached by recruiters whilst currently in work. If something’s going to bring you away from your existing job, then it’s a fantastic time to see if you can demand a higher salary. This will also help you and the recruiter set expectations.
As above, this will help the recruiter tailor who they send your information to. There is no reason for a recruiter to get you an interview in Canada if you have no ability or desire to move there. Make sure to not only consider where you would be happy to work, but also where you can legally relocate.
This is only relevant if you’re applying for a technical role, so if you’re looking for a job that doesn’t need any specific tools or software then there’s no need to worry. However, being honest with what technical programs or techniques you know and what you don’t will allow a recruiter to tailor the opportunities they bring to you. If you only code in HTML, it isn’t very valuable to get you a technical test with a company that only uses Python.
Your notice period is often not at the forefront of your mind, but it’s important to communicate when working with a recruiter. Some companies need someone right away, which won’t be feasible if you have to work for your current employer for six months before you can leave
There may also be personal considerations that you should alert a recruiter to, like if you have a holiday booked over the next month. Tell the recruiter when your notice period ends and if you have any upcoming dates that you’ll be away for. Then they’ll be able to put you forward only for positions that line up with your calendar.
Current company insight
A recruiter will have an easier time understanding what kind of role could tempt you away from your current job if they know more about what it entails. This is not something that is always asked, and is not something you need to answer if you do not feel comfortable doing so, but it’s worth considering if you think it will help. Being in a role that you enjoy means the pull of another opportunity will need to be much greater, whereas if you don’t love your situation it may be easier to take something new.
Cover letter (or similar)
Most recruiters will ask you for a few points about yourself at a minimum, or may well ask for several paragraphs describing your top skills and achievements. This will allow them to sell you as a potential hire to companies, and their manager if needs be, so having your input saves them time. This is also to your benefit, as it allows you to control the message and put across all the stuff you want to highlight. Make sure to at least send over a few key points, or else you might leave the recruiter to sell you without your direction.
The benefits of recruiters
We always like to leave articles on a positive note where we can, and there are plenty of reasons why working with a recruiter could streamline your job hunt. Having support in your applications, especially from someone with insight and expertise you won’t always possess, will make your applications stronger and can boost your confidence.
Having someone bring you opportunities you may otherwise have missed also opens doors for you to explore, and without a recruiter all the initial legwork has to be done by yourself. This doesn’t mean that a recruiter will do all the work for you — you still need to put in the effort — but the help they provide can be invaluable. Working with recruiters is, in many cases, a generally positive experience that can get you into a new job a little faster, and with a lot more support.
We hope that these tips and points will help you feel more confident when dealing with recruiters. Making sure that you are benefiting from the relationship, and it isn’t just about them earning commission, should be a top priority, and if you take some of this advice onboard you should be equipped to do just that.
You shouldn’t just rely on recruiters in your job hunt. Check out the 12,000+ live video game opportunities we have listed on our site.
Good luck on the job hunt!