How to not get ‘fired’ by your own recruiter

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Can you actually be “fired” by a recruiter who’s working to find the next advancement in your career?

After all, a recruiter isn’t your employer but a “consultant” on your behalf. So it’s true, he or she can’t really “fire” you. But she can erase your name quickly from her database of qualified candidates.

Even if the first couple of job interviews didn’t work out, you don’t want to miss out on the next – and maybe even better — openings that match your qualifications.

Keep three things in mind from the start of your relationship with a recruiter: Communication, trust and honesty.

Communicating openly builds your search consultant?s trust, making your job hunt easier. Communicating in the wrong way – hiding a past job problem or exaggerating your qualifications — only will work against you.

Here are five tips to keep your name at the top of your recruiter’s list of candidates:

1) Be honest and accurate about salary expectations. Top employers have done their research on salary ranges and are typically firm with recruiters on what they’re willing to pay. Low-balling your salary range to a recruiter can result in interviews you aren’t really interested in, and that wastes your time as well as your recruiter’s.

2) Be upfront with your recruiter about any other jobs you’re seeking or companies already interviewing you. Most employers won’t be rushed into a decision, but if you’re a great match, a good recruiter can let a client company know they may need to move a little faster if they don’t want to lose you to a competitor.

3) Remember that recruiters are juggling a lot of tasks every day. Their time is money. It’s very important for you to return their calls or messages as quickly as possible. If a recruiter struggles to reach you, she will sense a lack of professionalism. On the other end, do stay in touch but don’t drive a recruiter crazy with daily calls for updates.

4) Be completely honest and informative on any information work sheet your recruiter asks you to fill out. This includes listing contacts of past supervisors who will provide recommendations. A good recruiter will make sure she has your permission to pass along those contacts to potential employers.

5) Finally, never go around your recruiter to try and contact a company personally. The company has enlisted a recruiter to qualify candidates and conduct fact-checking interviews for them. Sneaking around the corner is probably the fastest way to get your name deleted from a recruiter’s database. In other words, you’ve been “fired.”


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