5 Mistakes Job Seekers Can Make When Speaking With Recruiters

When speaking with a recruiter for the first time, a lot of candidates go into it having no idea what to expect. This, of course, is completely understandable. It may be beneficial to think of it as the first step of the interview process with a new, and exciting opportunity (often the initial screen leads to interviewing with their client).

Just as when interviewing directly with the hiring company, the first impression the candidate gives to the recruiter is of utmost importance.

Below are a some of the common mistakes candidates make during their conversations with recruiters. While not “end of the world” level, avoiding these can only lead to more productive candidate-recruiter relationships.

Talking About Leaving a Job on Bad Terms

Honesty is important, but so is perspective. While you may have left a position due to mismanagement, hostile work environment, or any number of reasons beyond your control, just as you wouldn’t badmouth a former employer in an interview with your prospective manager, don’t do it with your recruiter, either.

Instead, explain the circumstances for leaving, but frame it with positives you took away from the position, and specifically how those things may benefit your work for the recruiter’s client.

Immediately Asking About Compensation

When a candidate immediately asks about the salary range before any other information comes up, it can come off as pushy or presumptuous.

Compensation will almost certainly come up in your conversation, so there is no need to push the issue immediately. If for some reason it doesn’t, then it’s important to bring it up before you hop off the phone so you know what to expect going forward.

Consistently Rescheduling an Initial Phone Call with Your Recruiter

It’s not usually a good sign when a candidate reschedules their phone call more than 2 or 3 times in a row. This makes it hard to be sure they will show up / be available if they get to the interview stage with the client.

Recruiters want to know they’re doing right by you, as well as by their client. While schedules understandably get crazy sometimes, being able to keep appointments with the recruiter suggests you’ll do so with their client as well.

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Delivering a Non-negotiable Set of Conditions Right Before Accepting 

Occasionally, candidates reach the end of the interviews knowing all the specifics of the position (salary, benefits, responsibilities etc.).  However, upon receiving an offer, they throw in their own list of surprise conditions to accept the position; this is considered very unprofessional.

It is apt to discuss something like this with your recruiter, before saying anything to your possible future employer.

Being Rude, Condescending, Short, or Simply Unpleasant

This one may be obvious, but it absolutely hurts anyone’s chances of being submitted to a client if they treat the recruiter like an inferior. First impressions are important, and when meeting someone, being respectful, polite and easy to talk to will go a long, long way, in job search as in life.

7 Tips For Recent Grads When Working With Recruiters

After graduating college or right before getting their diploma many entry-level job seekers are exposed to recruiters for the first time.

One of the main reasons for this is that many career centers are not too keen on headhunters primarily due to the fact that some recruitment professionals act in a manner that is perceived not to be in the best interest of the college graduate.

Therefore, many entry-level job seekers have little to no idea about the staffing industry until they are initially contacted by a recruitment agency.

When I graduated college, I was recruited by a professional recruiter in Minneapolis whom I knew little to nothing about in a job that I hated for company that was antiquated and not progressive in their thinking. Luckily, this worked out for me.

Regardless, the below advice should help recent college graduates effectively deal with recruiters.

1. Only engage with recruiters who have jobs that pay a base salary.

2. Only engage with recruiters who do not charge the job applicants nor actively push resume services or other job seeking consulting services before the headhunters consider you for a job.

3. Only engage with recruiters who will tell you the name of the company that they are working with prior to interviewing with that firm. However, as a job seeker you should be responsible and confidential about the companies that are hiring as not doing so is highly unethical and is a form of corporate theft.

4. Upon approaching a recruiter or any particular executive search firm, do enough research on the staffing agency prior to initial contact and make sure that the firm deals with jobs that you may like.

5. If a recruiter sends you to meet with a client, remember that upon interviewing with that firm, you are not only representing yourself, but also the recruiter who sent you on that particular interview.

6. Have realistic expectations with your recruitment professional as nobody will find your perfect job for you without you doing the necessary legwork. Recruiters can only do so much; you have to help the recruiters help you.

7. Only work with recruiters whom you feel comfortable with. As a recent college graduate, remember that you’ve worked hard for your degree and, if you don’t feel comfortable with the direction a recruiter is taking you, either voice your opinion and see if the individual changes or change recruiters.

In the end, working with staffing agencies and  recruiters is not brain science, however make sure you have enough information and, upon gathering this information make a decision whether or not you would like to approach head hunters at this point in time.

There are more ethical, hard-working recruiters than the bunch that you often hear about and, working with recruiting firms, if done properly is a good way to diversify your job search.

Read the original article on KAS Placement Staffing. Copyright 2011.