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Keys To Dealing With Recruiters

May 16, 2008
Your resume can get you an interview, but if you tackle the interview in the right way, it should get you the job. But not so fast - before you even get to the interview, you will probably have to get past the recruiter first.

Today, recruiters are usually the first ones to contact you for a particular job. They often decide on whether you are suitable for the job as soon as your resume reaches the hiring manager's desk. It is very important to understand how recruiters work if you want to get through the interview successfully.

There are some things that you should avoid and never ask a recruiter.

Don't Cross the Line

Recruiters are usually warm and friendly - but don't be over friendly with them, as it is their job to put you at ease and guide you through the hiring process. They are true professionals and not your colleagues or friends, and it is crucial that you don't forget this. Think of the recruiter as a respected person in the company and treat them accordingly.

You can be friendly with them, but never overfriendly. It is always wise to keep some things confidential; therefore, don't disclose anything that is not applicable to the job at hand. Recruiters aren't really interested in what clubs you belong to or if you are a single mom - so keep these things to yourself.

Career Coaching

The recruiter's job is to guide you through the hiring process of specific companies. Recruiters are not career coaches, so it is inappropriate to ask them to guide you with writing a cover letter or resume. You have the freedom to ask them about the company in general, but keep your questions related to the specific job that you are discussing.

Save your more detailed questions for the hiring manager, as that's the person you will ultimately have to impress.

Insider Information

It is absolutely OK to ask the recruiter how many other candidates are being considered for the position that you are applying for. In fact, they are probably expecting you to ask. If you don't ask this question, you run the risk of looking uninterested or unambitious.

Recruiters are used to fielding questions from candidates about the competition they face - so don't disappoint them.

Don't Expect Too Much

Though you may wish to be treated as special, you are not probably the only candidate for the job. Many recruiters may treat you very well, but that's their job and they are quite happy to make you comfortable. Their aim is to project your good qualities to the hiring manager. Keep in mind, though, that they work for the employer and their objective is to fill the position - whether with you or someone else.
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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