Looking for a better job & more money?
I might be biased, but recruiters are pretty damn rad. If you're looking for an ally in the career battlefield, try using them for their full value. First things first, there are 2 types of recruiters: internal (aka ‘in-house’) and external (aka ‘agency’ or ‘3rd party).
Internal recruiters work directly for the company they are hiring for while 3rd party recruiters generally work for an outside agency and a company has hired them to fill a role. Just remember that recruiters do have their own agendas. In house ones are looking out for their company and want to get the best talent for the least money, while agency recruiters want to make the placement and their commission. They may work differently but their goal is essentially the same - get the right butt in the right seat.
Recruiters spend the bulk of their time building their network and fostering relationships. Part of that means helping out candidates with career issues. Don’t misunderstand me here, their job is not to find you a job and they definitely aren’t career counselors but they can be an amazing resource when trying to get your career on track - you just need to know how to use them properly.
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Recruiters can be very helpful in helping you realize your monetary worth. Many people (women especially) tend to underestimate what they should be getting paid. Recruiters can help you assign true market value to your skills and experience. Knowing this real number can be exceptionally helpful If you’re terrible at negotiating your salary with employers.
Recruiters can help you understand what gaps in your resume are holding you back. Did a recruiter tell you you weren’t right for a role? Then be sure to ask what qualifications you need that you currently don’t have. Then you can begin on filling those gaps! An external recruiter may even be able to help you position yourself as a good fit despite those gaps.
Recruiters can give you all the goods on the company you’re interested in. Recruiters needs to find the right people to fill a role - that means they want to be sure it’s right on both sides. If you’ve got the skills, but hate the culture - you won’t last long and they’ll have to start all over again soon. Nobody wants that. So ask away! What is the culture of a company? What is the typical promotion path? How long do people typically stay?
A good recruiter will be honest with you and help you suss out all the dirt. They can let you know what the hot-button issues are, what the day-to-day is really like and what you can expect in the hiring process.
Recruiters can help you get gigs if you go freelance. If you’re a creative, or any other service provider really, and you decide to go rogue and make it on the mean streets all by your lonesome, let the recruiters know! Many either do the freelance hiring for their company or will reco you if you have built a relationship with them. Just send them a note letting them know you’ve gone out on your own and would love to work with them if they could use you. Make it easy on them and send along the link to your portfolio when you do.
Recruiters can help you go for opportunities that aren’t posted yet.
More often than not recruiters have open jobs that just haven’t made their way to the internets yet. If you have a good relationship with them, all you have to do is send them a note and let them know - exactly - what role you’re looking for. They may either have one available or know someone who does (recruiters are a tight knit group!)
No matter what, if you work with a recruiter in any way, be sure to send them a genuine thank you, connect with them on LinkedIn and stay in touch. A good relationship with recruiters is an unsung asset to your career.