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Meeting with a Recruiter

Meeting with a recruiter is very similar to a job interview. The only difference is that you might interview with a hiring manager only once, but if you find the right recruiter it could be a professional connection you maintain your entire career. As a result, you want to make a good impression and be prepared. Below are seven tips to help make your meeting with a recruiter a success:

  1. Arrive a few minutes early so you are calm and collected during the interview. First impressions are important, so make sure yours is positive.

  2. Dress as you would for any job interview. Even though the recruiting agency is not the hiring company, they are evaluating you on behalf of future employers and appearance matters.

  3. Bring an up-to-date and error free resume. Your resume is really a sample of your work. Make sure it is current and has been closely proofread. Attention to detail is an important attribute.

  4. Be open and honest when discussing your experience and skills. Recruiters are very astute at helping candidates market themselves effectively based on what is in demand in the marketplace. Through a positive and direct dialog they may help you uncover skills you forgot to list on your resume as well as key experiences which should be given more prominence.

  5. Engage the recruiter in a professional manner, but be sure your personality shines through. Personal work style and the ability to fit within an organization’s culture are critical elements in the hiring process. Coming across as someone you’re not inhibits the recruiter’s ability to get to know you and find you the ideal position and company culture.

  6. Know what you want in your career. Think of a recruiter as your personal marketing agent. They can’t market you if they are unclear about who you are and what you want. Share your short and long-term career goals and seek their insight into the positions that best help you achieve them.

  7. Understand the business model. Recruiters are paid to find candidates who will bring their clients value. They don’t want to just “place a body.” If a candidate is unsuccessful from the minute they walk in the door, the recruiter will not be paid. Forming a mutually beneficial relationship with a recruiter helps both of you be successful.

After 15+ years in this business, I have heard a number of stories about practices and tactics used by recruiters that are questionable. My advice; find a staffing firm that has been in business for 10 years or more, and does not charge candidates for placement but rather the employer. This will give you a sense of security that the firm has relationships within the business community and will be your partner for the long haul.