Thinking About Working with a Recruiter? READ THIS!



If you’ve been actively involved in your Military-to-Civilian career transition for any length of time, you’ve probably run across a Recruiter. The go by other aliases as well, the most notorious nickname being that of “Headhunter”.


Ok, so by now you might have memories of your Military Recruiter (The one that got you to sign up, swear-in, and ship out to Boot Camp!) and how he or she got you to sign up for this adventure known as military service. That said, your familiarity of Recruiters within civilian circles might be a bit dated or seasoned by that experience, whether good or bad.


So, let’s look at Recruiters of the civilian job search type! Who are these people and what can they do for you? What can you expect from them? What things might be helpful for you to know in order to get hired at a top company, through a Recruiter?


Who are these Recruiters?


Recruiters simply connect Employers with qualified candidates. Some might be a one-person Recruiting firm, or maybe there’s a huge team of Recruiters. Sometimes, Employers have their own team of Recruiters that either come as part of a contract providing recruiting services or they might be actual employees at the Employer’s company. (You might also see their job title listed as Talent Acquisition Manager, Human Resources, or something that hints that they’re looking for people like you to fill important jobs.)


Notice I mentioned Employers first in the previous paragraph. Many assume that since Recruiters post jobs via websites and social media, that they work for YOU the candidate (a.k.a. Job Seeker, Future Superstar, #1 Draft Pick, etc.). I beg to differ. Here’s some perspective.


You need to think about this from the Recruiter’s standpoint and ask yourself, “Which came first – the Employer’s job openings or the masses of Veteran Candidates who need help finding jobs?


If you answered the Employer’s job openings, you’re correct!


Put another way, Recruiters get paid to fill job openings with qualified candidates like you, but just keep in mind who’s signing their paycheck.


What do Recruiters do on a daily basis?


Recruiters typically split their time between 2 major activities (among many others):


 1) Calling Employers to offer their recruiting services,




 2) Screening résumés and calling & interviewing qualified candidates in an attempt to fill those job openings.


So, if you’re looking for better odds of getting hired, a Recruiter with a huge rolodex of top-notch Employer/Clients is where you want to get connected.


What can you do in order to grab and keep the attention of a Recruiter?


  1. Take care of your personal basics & essentials BEFORE you contact a Recruiter. That means your résumé needs to be “ready for prime time”, custom-made to fit the desired position, spell-checked, spaced correctly, and written in plain English.
  2. Answer your phone calls and/or emails promptly. Remember, Recruiters spend an awful lot of time on the phone securing new Employer Client business. A missed call today might mean radio silence for eternity – especially if other more qualified Candidates want the same job.
  3. Pay close attention to the suggestions Recruiters give you, along with any helpful information that will make you shine. Don’t act like you know everything about a particular company when the Recruiter has spent face-to-face, nose-to-nose, in-person time with company insiders and can give you keen insight as to what’s truly happening. (I call this “Getting a peek behind the corporate curtain.”)
  4. Ask the Recruiter how to and how often to follow up. If you pester a Recruiter too much, expect not only to have your calls unanswered or blocked, expect to gain a reputation that might resonate within Recruiter circles. The last thing you want is to be labeled a “potentially bad hire” or “desperate”.
  5. Avail yourself to any important information supplied by the Recruiter. This might include a public website, a “back-office” Candidates-only website, “backgrounders” which essentially provide written information about a company or product or hiring profile, and anything else the Recruiter might assign as “homework” for you.
  6. Keep in mind that some job openings might have several Recruiters trying to fill them. When you read a job description and job posting, you might recognize the wording and language that looks the same. This is typical. Kind of a “Same Job/Different Recruiter” type of scenario. I don’t recommend you try to work with 2 different Recruiters for the same job. Bad idea! This will only hurt you!


I guess the last few thoughts I’d like to add to this very brief overview on working with a Recruiter:


Your success working with a Recruiter depends on how well you work together. Expectations need to be set. Understanding of the role of a Recruiter is the key. You should not expect a Recruiter to do everything for you. Be prepared and don’t waste a Recruiter’s time. A Recruiter is looking for the right fit on behalf of an Employer that’s hired him/her to find the best hire. Don’t think of a Recruiter like a Sports Agent; per se. Also, don’t disregard the other non-Recruiter activities you’ve been doing such as; attending job fairs, honing your résumé, networking, etc.


Recruiters know their stuff – at least the great ones do. Leave your list of demands and desires at home and your ego in check. Most Recruiters work WITH YOU, not FOR YOU. Their paycheck arrives only after they place the right person in the right job on behalf of the Employer. Once you fully understand the scope of the Recruiter/Candidate relationship, you can maximize the opportunity to get hired in this fashion.


What experiences did you have with Recruiters?

1 Comment
Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank You for reading and sharing!