It is always nice to have a person on your side. It is even better when that person has the inside track on jobs and can fight to get you a job! So, you can imagine it would be a great thing for you, as a job seeker, to get the recruiter to fight for you.
This post explains how to get a recruiter to fight for you during your job search. Keep in mind, the meaning of the phrase “fight for you” does not mean “a recruiter does everything for you in a job search.” This post is more about making sure the recruiter goes to bat for you whenever a job comes up that you are qualified for.
Why you want the recruiter on your side
Hiring processes are time-consuming, competitive, and filled with emotional ups and downs for everyone, including the recruiter. The recruiter could be working with hundreds of candidates and several positions at once while trying to make companies and their clients happy. Therefore, if a recruiter meets someone who impressed them and will make their lives and job easier, they will be your advocate.
Here are some tips for making sure the recruiter is on your side and will fight for you when a fitting job shows up:
1. Be prepared
Make sure you are on the same page as the recruiter when it comes to your skills and past experiences, relevant or not. Also, make sure they understand your gaps in employment history, short-term, and long-term career ambitions. Why? They need to get the whole picture of “you” as a job candidate.
If for any reason you decide to update your resume, send them a copy of it proactively while at the same time being respectful of their time. If you are the type who gets bored with how your resume looks very quickly, do not keep sending them your resume because you changed the formatting 5 days a week.
When you make big changes to work experience and contact info, of course, they need to know!
2. Be honest
Honesty builds trust and trust is the very foundation of all successful business relationships. Do not misrepresent yourself or give the recruiter any doubts when it comes to thinking of referring you.
If you feel you are slightly unqualified for a position, tell them! Be honest about your abilities so they trust you are not wasting their time. And you can trust you won’t end up in a job that you will ultimately fail in.
This does not mean you should shoot jobs down at the very hint of a doubt. However, you should be honest about your transferable skills and what you think works in your favor if the job doesn’t seem like a good fit.
3. Be passionate
Recruiters always look for candidates who are passionate about the company they represent. If you have an epic purpose for wanting to work at a certain company, it is time to let the recruiter know.
One of the strongest motivations a person can have for a job is “epic meaning”. If your recruiter lets you know about a job and that job description ignites your passion, chances are you are motivated by its epic meaning.
When this happens to you, tell the recruiter why you are inspired by the job they had just described. It could be anything that motivates you from the purpose of a non-profit to a new and exciting technology. Your willingness to express what motivates you will let the recruiter know you will take the job interview very seriously.
4. Show gratitude
Sometimes you find out the recruiter referred you to a job and it turned out to be a dud. Make sure to thank your recruiter and show gratitude for trying. In addition, use this as an opportunity to ask about other opportunities you can make yourself available for. The recruiter will appreciate your gratitude and also that you are willing to keep trying. After all, if you can help them fill a job position you both win.
More so, a way to show gratitude is to refer people to the position that you have in your network. If you know the job isn't right for you, help out your recruiter by referring someone who was a better fit. At the end of the day, the recruiter will remember you for your gratitude and willingness to help.
Most of all, if you were right for the job and simply did not get hired, do not take your frustrations out on the recruiter. It is uncalled for to hold someone accountable who had no control over the final decision. Gracious behavior in defeat is one of the most positive ways you can show this recruiter that you care about the long-term nature of your business relationship!