The commonly used phrase “Its Not What You Know, its Who You Know” can be especially frustrating when it comes to your job search. The concept that getting hired can have more to do with a network than with the real industry knowledge you bring to the table can feel so counterproductive.The easy work around here? Partnering with a recruiter whose network you can lean on to get you in front of the right hiring mangers faster, and with the insider knowledge you need to ace the interview process and get an offer! That is why it is so important to identify a recruiter who can best act as a partner to you in your job search.
As with anything in life, from finding a new dentist, to purchasing a new pair of running shoes, ask around. A referral from someone who has had a positive experience with a good recruiter is an excellent place to start. Not only are you working with someone who has a track record of success, but your recruiter is already aware that you are coming to them with a reference of sorts, form someone they have already worked with, so they are starting the partnership from an understanding that you also come highly recommended. That mutual respect gets both of you off on the right foot.
Another important consideration when seeking a recruiter is to understand what industry they serve. Many recruiters specialize in a specific industry or function and it is often a huge benefit to work with someone who not only understands what you do, but has a network of clients who hire in your profession and spends 100% of their time networking and better understanding the trends in their area of expertise. Recruiters who don’t specialize may be great at what they do, but if they spend part of their day placing marketing professionals before pivoting to recruiting for a strong admin, your position is just not getting the same focus it would when you work with someone who specializes.
Lastly, make sure you are working with someone you like.You don’t have to spend your free time with your recruiter, but if you don’t feel like you can ask them the right questions or feel comfortable being 100%honest with them then it just may not be the right fit. A good recruiter needs to understand your motives in your search, and in turn you need to feel comfortable telling them why you left your last role and what you truly need to make a move. You will be discussing the salary you need and trusting this person to get you that salary or tell you that you should lower or raise your expectations. These can be difficulty discussions to have but will help you land in a role where you are happy, can grow and are paid what you are worth.It is imperative you are working with someone you can communicate these things to.
At this point you have perfected your resume, fine tuned when and where to apply for a job, optimized your visibility and networking efforts and dug into how to find the right recruiter for you. You’ve laid down the foundation and are ready to start tackling the interview process!