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Graduates: here’s how to work with recruiters

Their job is to find the perfect candidate for a role, and to help you to secure the perfect role

Finding a good recruiter is like having a really well connected, helpful mate who’s happy to do the job-hunting legwork for you. But don’t be mistaken: recruiters are professionals and you should treat them as such.

Recruiters are people who approach you, find jobs that you can and want to do, and then help you to get them. And you don’t have to pay them a penny. Sounds great, right? But remember: while they are helping you find your next role, they are professionals with their own job to do. Here’s our helpful guide as to how to work with recruiters and make sure that you both get the best from your relationship.

Don’t tell porkies

Recruiters know that candidates can play fast and loose with the truth when trying to get a job, and they will see straight through any lies or near-truths. Their job is to find the perfect candidate for a role, and to help you to secure the perfect role. Be honest about your skills and experience and you will both be better off.

Don’t waste time

Recruiters and employers do not appreciate the one-size-fits-all application that you are sending to every job you see going. Be sure to submit tailored applications only for roles you are actually interested in, and take the time to tell them exactly why you are the right person for their role.

You may like the sound of the job title, but if you don’t have the required qualifications or the essential 10 years’ experience don’t apply for it. Job descriptions are written to ensure that only suitable candidates apply, and they are there to help you know whether a role is right for you. Read them carefully and apply selectively.

Be professional

Don’t speak to your recruiter while you are down the pub with your mates, eating dinner with your mum or wading through the mud at a festival. Each interaction with a recruiter is a demonstration of your professionalism and they will be judging you on your telephone skills.

If they call at an inconvenient time, make yourself available or promise to call them back asap. If you are meeting in person, make sure you are on time, prepared and well presented. Recruiters will put you forward for roles if they think you will represent both yourself and them well. If you are late, unprofessional or a no-show when you arrange to meet them, why should they assume you will perform any better for a potential employer?

Trust them

Recruiters are professionals, and they know how to do their job. If they offer you CV or interview advice, don’t argue. If you haven’t heard back about a job, don’t hound them. And if they don’t know much about software design or curing cancer, don’t patronise them. You might be more of an expert in your field than they are, but they know how to deal with your potential employer and how to get you the job. Be graceful, be patient and be respectful: they know what they are doing.

The most important thing to remember is that a recruiter is there to help. Making the right impression can go a long way to helping you land your perfect role.

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