How to impress your recruiter when you speak to them

Morgan McKinley 15.03.2019

Every single interaction - email, phone call or meeting - you have with a recruiter will shape their perception of you. It’s important that you present yourself in the best light possible at all times.

An opportunity to put your best self forward

It can seem intimidating when you are speaking to someone who is not a professional in your area of expertise but they know so much about what your prospective employers want. Don’t let this put you off; beyond finding you the next step in your career, recruiters are also highly proficient at preparing you for interviews, they have a wide network within your industry and can provide you with expert insights.

Whenever you meet or chat with a recruiter, if you help them, you will soon find out that they go above and beyond to help you.

Importance of a good relationship with your recruiter

Try and work to their schedule

There are certain times when a call from your recruiter is the last thing you want - at work, spending time with your family or out socialising. However, simply ignoring their call will not help either of you. If you don’t have time to speak with them there and then, at least pick up and quickly rearrange a better time for both parties. By doing this, you will keep yourself near the top of their list - if you’re actively looking for a new role, being in your recruiter’s good books is highly beneficial.

If this is the first communication you have had with them, it is important that you leave a good first impression even if you aren’t available to speak. Anything negative at this stage could hurt your chances in the future - it’s true what they say, first impressions really do count.

Present yourself in such a way that it’s easy to repeat

Once you have spoken with your recruitment consultant, they will then be the one putting you forward to the hiring manager and ultimately ‘selling’ you to your potential future employer. For this reason it is important you give your recruiter a compelling account of your background and career so they can easily relay it. If you have it thoroughly thought through and fully planned out before you speak to them, there’s a good chance they will want to inform the relevant hiring manager straight away.

Key questions you should ask a recruiter

Speaking with a recruiter is just as much an opportunity for you to gather more information about the position and hiring organisation as it is for them to build up your profile. Some key questions that you can ask are:

  • What can I expect the day-to-day responsibilities to be?
  • What are the company’s values and what are the typical characteristics they look for in their employees to represent those values?
  • What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development? If so, what do those look like?
  • What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
  • Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?

A well-informed candidate, one who has gathered a wide range of information about the particular role, as well as the wider business, will always be looked on favourably.

The more your help them, the more they will help you

Recruitment consultants are all incredibly knowledgeable in their particular areas of expertise and they know exactly what the hiring managers at different organisations look for in their interviewees. Proactively ask them for tips on how best to update your CV and provide them with references - this will paint an even more positive picture of your profile in their mind. This has to be approached with an element of caution as the sense of desperation can set alarm bells ringing and whatever you do, never say that you will “take anything”.

At the end of the day, they are helping you find your dream job and achieve your career ambitions. From the first communication you have with them, they will be sculpting an analysis of you so it is important that you are as helpful as you can be.

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