Job searching is hard. It’s monotonous. And it’s especially difficult to do alone.
So why not have someone in your corner to help along the way?
People have different images in their mind when they think of recruiters. Some are positive, most are negative.
But there are many ways that a recruiter can help you on your job search, and land you in your ideal role. Let’s walk through how to work with a recruiter, and five specific ways they can help you in your job search.
What do recruiters actually do?
Let’s clarify one thing: when we talk about recruiters in this article, we’re talking about third-party staffing agency recruiters, like the ones here at Brightwing. Many larger companies will employ their own internal corporate recruiters, but those relationships work a little differently than third parties.
Third-party recruiters generally start as experts within a particular industry, with deep knowledge that enables them to find, screen, match, and coach candidates looking for their next job. Employers will hire them to leverage that expertise, and to save themselves time and money in acquisition costs.
Who can recruiters help (and not help)?
As wonderful as recruiters are, we can’t help everyone. There are some types of professionals who are simply better suited for a recruiter relationship than others.
For instance, recruiters are the most helpful in the following situations:
- Your industry or sector has a talent shortage (which, as of now, is pretty much everyone)
- You have specific or hard-to-find skills, or a lot of experience in your industry—especially if you’re a manager or executive
- You currently work for a top company known for its talent (Google, Facebook, Tesla, Apple, etc.)
- You’re a consultant or contractor looking for a temporary position, not a permanent job
On the other hand, if you fall into one of these categories, a recruiter probably can’t help you:
- You’re an entry-level job seeker
- You’re looking to make a big transition or pivot in your career—like switching industries or starting a new specialization
- Your job doesn’t require specific skills or knowledge
- You’re looking to relocate, but don’t have a compelling reason why companies should employ you over a local candidate
Of course, these are all just general rules of thumb, which means you may find an exception. So don’t let this deter you from reaching out to various recruiting agencies. Just be clear-eyed about what to expect and your chances of success.
5 ways a recruiter can help you in your job search
All of this brings us to the central question: why should you work with a recruiter, instead of going it alone? Here are five specific ways that a recruiter can help you in your job search.
1. Recruiters save you time
If you’re job hunting while also holding a job, you basically are working a full-time job on top of another full-time job. It’s exhausting, monotonous, and sometimes discouraging.
A recruiter can help relieve some of this stress. Instead of sending a resume to a hundred different companies, you just have to send it to one, and they’ll get it out there. You don’t have to spend hours searching job boards, because they already know the jobs that are out there—even before they become public.
Granted, recruiters will only work for you if you work for them. You have to demonstrate your expertise and attractiveness to potential employers, and make sure that you’re working the leads that they give you. But so long as you take your job search seriously, the relationship with your recruiter can be truly synergistic.
2. Recruiters expand your network
Short of sending cold resumes and cover letters to companies, your job opportunities are only as expansive as your network. When you work with a recruiter, however, you get to leverage their network and client base, which opens you up to hundreds if not thousands of opportunities.
This not only increases your odds of landing a new job, but also of landing a good fit or, potentially, your dream role.
3. Recruiters help you through the process
Because they want to maintain a good relationship with their clients, it’s in the recruiter’s interest to make you look as good as possible. That means that if a recruiter thinks that you’re a good candidate, they’ll help you put your best foot forward throughout the process. Remember: the faster the recruiter can get you hired, the faster they get their paycheck.
From your perspective, that means you get a coach throughout the process, as well as an advocate who can speak on your behalf. They can highlight specific skills with the employer, and address concerns before you even step into the interview. This is something that you’ll never get with just a cold cover letter.
4. You can leverage the recruiter’s expertise
If you’re in a highly specialized or competitive field, it may be hard to find jobs that match your particular skill set. When you work with a recruiter who has expertise in your field, they’ll easily match you to the specific job descriptions and companies that fit the bill.
Not only that, but a recruiter can also hunt down more obscure job opportunities that you might miss on your own, simply because they have their ear to the ground.
5. You stay in a job search database
Let’s say you go through the process with a recruiter, interview for a bunch of different positions, and don’t end up getting hired. Does that mean the process of working with a recruiter was a wash?
Not at all!
Even if you don’t end up getting the initial positions you apply for, your relationship with a recruiter is one that you can keep for the long haul. On top of that, you’ll stay inside their job search database. So when a position comes up that you’re a match for, your profile will automatically resurface.
Final thoughts: Why recruiters are worth it
At the end of the day, having an ally in your corner can give you a serious leg up in your job hunt. So it’s worth it to at least start a conversation with a recruiter.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to find a recruiter that’s a good fit for you: someone who knows your industry, has connections with the types of companies you want to work with, and is willing to guide and coach you along the way.
If you’re in IT, automotive, finance, engineering, or any highly specialized fields, Brightwing may be a good fit for you. Click here to schedule a one-on-one conversation with one of our talent experts.
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