Deciding to work with a recruiter can feel like kind of a big deal. That’s especially true when this is all new to you. But, this kind of help could make all the difference in the world.
However, it can be hard to tell if the recruiter you’re working with is the right fit. Also, as in any occupation, there are people who are good at their jobs and people who aren’t. How can you tell whether your recruiter will boost your chances of getting hired … or waste your time?
Thankfully, there are some warning signs you can keep in mind:
1. They don’t listen
A good recruiter gets to know you. Understanding who you are and what you want is basically their primary function as it allows them to hone in on the right opportunities. It’s a bad sign if you’re meeting with a recruiter who loses focus or who just doesn’t seem like they’re paying attention to you.
2. You’re not learning about many new job prospects
If you’re working with an outside recruiting agency, you should be getting a lot of leads. Good recruiters connect clients with opportunities – plain and simple. Sometimes, they’re even aware of openings before they’re listed. If you haven’t heard about many new job prospects since starting to work with this recruiter, it’s a bad sign.
3. The opportunities are way off base
It’s not a good sign if a recruiter calls you talking about an opportunity that has little to no relevance to your career. If you’re contacted to talk about a position that is totally out of left field and not related to your interests or experience in any way, you’re probably not dealing with a great recruiter.
4. They talk in clichés
Good recruiters get the job done. The rest try to talk a good game in an effort to make it seem like they know what they’re doing. So, if you start to notice a lot of clichéd talk about “advanced search methodologies” etc., but you still aren’t getting many interviews, you might be on the wrong track.
5. They push you around
If you’re working with a bully recruiter, you’ll know it. They might try to convince you to lower your salary expectations, even when you know you’re asking for a reasonable rate. (Use PayScale’s Salary Survey to do your own homework in advance of meeting with any recruiter.) Or, they may try to talk you into taking an interview when you’ve said you’re not interested. It’s a bad sign if you feel you’re being pushed around by a recruiter.
6. They ask about your salary history
It is not a good sign if a recruiter asks you to give your salary history. You are focusing on what you want to earn going forward, not where you’ve been. Some companies have even made it against the rules to ask questions like this. If a recruiter calls you and asks about your salary history, it’s not the best sign.
7. They pressure you to take the Wrong job
If it starts to feel like a recruiter is trying to get rid of you (and collect their fee) by pressuring you to take a job you don’t want to take, they probably aren’t that great at their own job. You don’t want to end up stuck doing work that you don’t like as a result. So, if you find yourself in this kind of situation, get away from the recruiter instead.
Don’t let bad recruiters sour you to the whole process. Some recruiters are really good at what they do and they want to help you. It’s worth it to wait for one of them.
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