I was recently interviewed for an industry publication and, during the interview, the topic of the benefits of working with a recruiter came up. In thinking about the answers, I realized that it would be good for me to share some (not always apparent) advantages of working with a recruiter with our Wisnik Weekly readers.
There are several advantages of working with a recruiter when you are looking for the right next job. For example, a recruiter who knows the market, and has trust-filled relationships with decision-makers, will be more effective at getting you in the door for an initial interview because your resume will actually be looked at. Also, it’s easier and more compelling for someone else to “sell” you than for you to sell yourself.
In addition, a recruiter who knows the market can help you to identify firms that are likely to be a good cultural fit. They will also position you for the job by writing a compelling cover letter and coaching you to present your experience and competencies effectively in an interview. Specifically, a recruiter will make sure your answers to “Why this job?” and “Why this firm?” really resonate. Ideally, they have worked with the people you are about to interview with, and can brief you on their personalities and styles, so you are well prepared!
Common Questions About Working with a Recruiter:
- Should you develop a relationship with a recruiter before you start looking? Absolutely! There are many candidates we begin speaking with one year before they launch their job search. We get to know them by helping them gain clarity around what their next job should look like and what would be the right step in their career. For example, what challenges do they need to take on to continue to grow in the field and what kind of culture will they thrive in? This kind of self-awareness really helps you to make the right transition, because you know what you are looking for beyond job title and salary.
- How many recruiters should you work with? I think two is fine, but when a candidate says they are working with four or five different recruiters, they are no longer a top priority for us because chances are that their resume has been sent everywhere!
- What about salary – how does a recruiter impact your bottom line? First of all, a recruiter who knows your marketplace will know what your level job pays and will give you a realistic sense of what you will be earning in your next role. Second, the recruiter will negotiate the compensation package on your behalf. I believe that in most cases, you are better off with a recruiter doing this for you because it is hard to negotiate for yourself.
If you find a recruiter who you trust and understands your career goals and what kind of culture you will thrive in, there is a high likelihood that a recruiter can be a valuable asset to your career.