Working with a recruiter is a great way to accelerate your job search. Recruiters come to the table with an extensive network of contacts and a pipeline of potential opportunities, instantly increasing your chances of finding a great opportunity. However, not all recruiter-candidate relationships are sunshine and roses. If you are new to the business of working with a recruiter and you want to make sure you can establish a great relationship, here are four tips to help you along the way.

Choose Wisely

Don’t just settle on the first recruiter who replies to you on LinkedIn. Go out and meet with several recruiters to see what each person brings to the table. If you want to have a great relationship with a recruiter, you need to be completely comfortable with them and confident in their abilities.

Come to your meeting armed with thoughtful questions about the recruiter’s firm, their background, why they do what they do, how successful they are in your niche and their current understanding of the job market in your field. Don’t be shy about asking questions, you need details to make an informed decision.

Focus on One Relationship

Some people try and juggle relationships with several recruiters, but this often leads to confusion, conflicts and other challenges. During your interviews with recruiters, stick to a set of questions for each one so you can evaluate later. Also, trust your instincts. You need to work with this person and if your relationships don’t mesh, success will be a challenge. Find the one recruiter that is the right fit for you.

Honesty Is Always the Best Policy

The key to a great relationship with a recruiter is open, honest communication. The only way a recruiter can connect you with your ideal job is if they know exactly what you are looking for from day one. You have absolutely nothing to lose by being upfront and honest about what you want in terms of salary, benefits, location, organizational size, company culture, management style, opportunities for growth, etc.  If your priorities or job status changes during your search, make sure to keep your recruiter in the loop. Failure to accept an interview or job offer your recruiter presents to you adversely affects the relationship with their client, this causes frustration for everyone.

It is also critical to be open and honest about your challenges and weaknesses. A recruiter can help you strategize ways to overcome those challenges. They can provide guidance for interview preparation and share questions you should expect. A recruiter also will know which skills an organization truly desires, matching that to your profile.

Trust Your Recruiter

If you’ve done a thorough job vetting your recruiter, you should be able to trust they will do their best to help you find your ideal opportunity. This means you can and should check in regularly, but don’t hound or harass a recruiter. They juggle many clients and many more candidates, and their time is just as valuable as yours. Great opportunities don’t fall out of the sky every day, and it could be a while before something promising pops up. If you’ve chosen wisely, and if you’ve been honest with your recruiter, trust that they are working to help match you with the right openings.

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