Whether you’re new to the job market or have been part of the workforce for more years than you’d like to count, the right recruiter can be a valuable resource when you’re searching for work. A good recruiter can open doors to different opportunities, and some even offer guidance on all things job-related, from interview tips to resume suggestions. But unfortunately, there are some recruiters out there who don’t have job seekers’ best interests at heart. Since it’s common practice for recruiters to work on a commission basis, some professionals in the headhunting industry have a tendency to aggressively push candidates to take jobs that aren’t ideal simply to earn more money.
So how does your recruiter stack up? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does he or she take your job requirements seriously? Your recruiter shouldn’t pressure you to accept a lower salary than you’re looking for, or a job with a much longer commute than you’re comfortable with. He or she should also be mindful of other preferences, such as your willingness to travel or work overtime on a regular basis.
- Does he or she push you to apply for jobs that don’t match your experience level? Your recruiter shouldn’t try to sell you on a position for which you’re clearly overqualified. While it’s true that many roles come with some administrative duties, your recruiter shouldn’t try to hide these or convince you to ignore them. Rather, he or she should make sure that the job responsibilities in question align with your career goals.
- Does he or she send out your resume without consulting you first? Some recruiters have a practice of blasting out resumes whenever a new position rolls in. Your recruiter should give you an opportunity to review a job listing and express your interest before submitting your resume.
- Does he or she encourage you to lie on your resume or during an interview? It’s okay to play up your skills, but lying about your experience or misrepresenting your qualifications is never a good idea. If your recruiter suggests or promotes lying, it’s a sign that he or she is probably not the most honest individual to begin with.
- Does he or she tell you where you stand? It’s not uncommon for the same recruiter to submit multiple resumes in response to a job opening, but if yours already has a viable candidate in the works, he or she should be candid about that and let you know.
On the other hand, a trustworthy recruiter will:
- Take the time to understand the type of job you’re looking for.
- Care about the reasons you left your previous job or are unhappy at your current job.
- Prepare you for interviews and check in afterward to get your feedback.
- Offer suggestions on how to improve your resume or skill set.
- Be respectful of your time by not wasting it on openings that clearly aren’t right for you.
Remember, a recruiter’s job is to listen to what you want out of your next job and work to match you up with an appropriate opportunity. If you have reason to believe that your recruiter doesn’t have your best interests in mind, you shouldn’t hesitate to end the relationship and find someone else to assist with your job search. There are plenty of honest, talented recruiters out there, and finding the right one is the first step toward landing the job that’s best for you.