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How to Work with a Recruiter

What is an Executive Recruiter?

Executive Recruiters are engaged by top companies and have access to unadvertised positions — career opportunities that usually aren’t posted anywhere else. These professionals hold great influence within the hiring organization, and it’s important for you to understand how to leverage this resource as part of your overall career strategy. The relationship with a recruiter is often more about tomorrow than it is about today. Career changes are life-altering and leveraging a professional recruiter will reduce risk and leave nothing to chance.

Recruiters are often tagged with the name “headhunter”, which basically describes what they do on a daily basis. It’s not a bad thing; they complete “targeted searches” for someone to fit current and future opportunities with their clients. They contact you because they think you have the potential to fill the opportunity or may know someone that does. Be flattered—not insulted!

It is illegal for recruiters to charge a fee to the career seeker—the employer pays the recruiting fees. If, as a career seeker, you are asked to pay for services, please report the organization to your local Government.

Maximize a Recruiter's Service

If you (or your acquaintance/co-worker) are looking for new career opportunities, contact a recruiter that specializes in your areas of interest. That is, if you are looking to move to or relocate to or within Canada, contact a recruiter that has the expertise and the employer connections within those markets. Good recruiters can be your ‘silver bullet’ helping you target the right community, the right employer, and the right job.

Just as you would introduce your professional ‘brand’ to a hiring organization, make sure your cover letter and resume/CV are written to address the areas of expertise of the recruiter.

Determine the best communication channel for that firm. The firm may offer online registration and/or invite you to send a resume and cover letter. Review their website to determine the preferred communication medium and, in all cases, respect the preference of the firm or individual recruiter. Our firm prefers that all register their profile online; which gives our recruiters the ability to review your resume for specific skills that may match you to your career plan. Be as specific and provide as much information as possible to help the recruiter confidentially match a position to your Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA’s) and salary expectations.

Many recruiting firms maintain an online archive of your contact information, resume, and a profile that is created relevant to their tracking systems. Be patient! It could be a matter of days or months before your specific credentials become relevant to a job that a firm has under research.

Recruiters Can Make A Difference

The recruiter makes objective and subjective decisions every day regarding talent. They should be treated just as if they are the hiring organization. Be professional, make your best impression, sell yourself and your ‘hire-ability’. As a recruiter has access to a lot of talent, don’t expect personal, individualized service as they aren’t working FOR you—they are working FOR the employer. The relationship between a recruiter and a work-seeker is a process that could take from two days to two years.

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