Nobody knows the employment marketplace better than your recruiter because they work the marketplace day in and day out.

This enables them to access the “hidden job market” – those positions that are NOT released to the general public. A recruiter can be your “eyes and ears” to the industry by discreetly monitoring the job market while you’re concentrating on your career and enhancing your resume.

Recruiters work very hard to build close relationships with leading companies, including the top managers and executives. Your recruiter will give you a behind-the-scenes perspective on a company. They can prepare you for interviews with an intimate insight into whom you’ll be interviewing with and what they’re looking for in an outstanding candidate.

A recruiter does all this for you at no charge! The employer always pays their fees and it never affects your salary. Professional recruiters are called on to help fill positions demanding special talents or in an attempt to hire only the top talent in the industry. In short, recruiters have spheres of influence with industry executives and can promote you to the inner circle of the hiring clientele. This close relationship with your recruiter can open some very exciting doors.

To establish and maintain a successful relationship with your recruiter, there are certain expectations that must be met. Below are five steps for forging a great relationship with your recruiter:

  1. Follow the program. Successful recruiters are successful because they’ve found a formula that works. If you want to be part of that success, let them guide you through their process. It may require you to fill out questionnaires, take a personality profile test, etc. If you want to get the most out of the relationship, follow along. They’ve found something that works and it will work for you.
  2. Keep the recruiter up-to-date with your experience and expectations. When a recruiter becomes aware of a position, they like to respond quickly. If they have your latest information, you’ll be one of the first they call if it’s a proper fit. Never go more than six months without touching base with your recruiter, even if you have no immediate intentions of changing jobs. Let them know about changes in experience, including new skills, technologies, education, promotions, salary, etc. Equally as important are changes in expectations, such as relocation plans.
  3. Keep your resume up-to-date. Keeping your resume up-to-date is a good practice whether you’re working with recruiters or not. Some recruiters present candidate profiles and some present resumes. Have your resume up-to-date so you can be the first candidate presented and thus, the person to beat in the interview process.
  4. Be honest. Always be open and honest with your recruiter. There may be circumstances in your employment or background, such as a time of unemployment, which could be a hindrance to securing your next position. By being honest, the recruiter can explain these circumstances in the best light, while still being honest. These are circumstances that they’ve dealt with before and can address them in a forthright manner with the hiring authority.
  5. Be patient. It takes time to find the right position for someone and having great talent does not always mean you’ll have a new position quickly. Recruiters don’t create jobs; they only fill ones that are open. If you’ve stayed in touch with your recruiter and kept your information current, you’ll be one of the first they’ll call when the assignment comes in.

Your recruiter is investing their time and resources into your future. As a result, they have a vested interest in you being happy and successful.