Working with a Recruiter as a Candidate

Navigating the job market can be a daunting task, especially if it’s been several years since you’ve applied for a position. Working with a recruiter has many benefits ranging from introductions to organisations through established networks, to negotiating salary and benefits during the offer stage. And using a recruitment agency can speed up the process for both the candidate and the employer, by matching the most qualified person to the position.

Here’s our guide for getting the most out of your relationship with your recruiter to secure your dream role and avoid any job search mistakes.

Meet your Recruiter in Person

This is an important relationship and works best if you get to know each other. Your recruiter is essentially acting as your representative, selling you to prospective employers. Ideally, they should have a strong understanding of what makes you tick, as well as your skills and experience. In return, you are placing a lot of trust in your recruiter so want to ensure they accurately reflect your voice and personal brand. Investing your time upfront in a face-to-face meeting with a recruiter will help build trust and rapport that will benefit you throughout the process.

Be Upfront and Transparent

There’s no point telling your recruiter what you think they want to hear. You will be working together throughout this process, so it’s essential to be upfront and honest from day one. Talk through your career history frankly, flagging any potential issues from previous roles that might cast you in a negative light. It’s best for your recruiter to know your “warts and all” history rather than getting surprised down the track.

Tell Them What You Want

Also be open about what you are looking for in a new role, what you’d like to see in terms of a salary and other benefits, and what you consider deal-breakers. This doesn’t make you fussy – rather it helps your recruiter refine their search and put you forward for roles that meet your criteria. The last thing you want to do is waste everyone’s time (including your own) interviewing for a role you have no intention of accepting.

Keep an Open Mind

On the other side of the coin, it’s worth listening to advice and guidance from your recruiter. They are industry experts and have a good understanding of the current job market. It might be several years since you’ve applied for a role, and you might need to work on your resume or interviewing techniques before the process begins. If you build trust and stay open, they might be able to find a role that meets your requirements but with an organisation you’ve never considered before.

Welcome Feedback

Your recruiter can gain feedback from employers when your application is unsuccessful, putting you in a better position for the next position. Be sure to call them after your interview to talk through how it went from your perspective. Once the recruiter hears back from their client, you’ll have some feedback and tips which could prove valuable for your next interview.

Be Flexible

Be ready to make yourself available for interviews even if this means organising time away from the office during the day or your lunch break. Recruiters are the bridge between you and the employer, so you will be trying to manage two sets of expectations. It will go a long way – and make a good first impression – if you can be flexible with your time.


Working with a recruiter is like having a personal guide to the job market. They can help review your resume, prepare you for interviews and connect you with a wide range of organisations who haven’t necessarily even advertised their roles yet.

If you are ready to take the plunge or chat more about why to use a recruitment agency, contact our team today.