What a Recruiter Will and Will Not Do For You


It’s been interesting getting into recruiting, because I suddenly became the go-to for all sorts of resume, cover letter, job pivot questions, etc.

One of the more interesting ones is “Will a recruiter get me a job?” Honestly, I see exactly why so many people think this, and I would love for it to work out the way we all wish it did, but…

A recruiter’s job is not to get you a job.

Wait, so if your job isn't to get me a job... what do you do all day?!

Wait, so if your job isn’t to get me a job… what do you do all day?!

You getting a job is often a great benefit of a recruiter’s work, but a recruiter is usually focused on the company s/he works for and its needs. If your needs and the company’s match up, then it’s a match made in heaven. The rest of the time though, there may not be much a recruiter can do to help. (Nope, no magic perfect job creating wands.)

So, considering that a recruiter gets paid by a company (or several) to find people and therefore focuses on getting that entity what it needs first and foremost, what kind of assistance can you expect from a recruiter?

  1. Determining whether this is a job you want. A recruiter will usually have 10-20 job openings s/he’s working on and should be knowledgeable enough about the openings and company(ies) to help you figure out whether you would like any of them.
  2. Positioning yourself. With that knowledge about the companies comes insight about what they want. A recruiter will be able to help you tailor your resume and prepare for interviews so that you can confidently showcase the skills and attributes that will be most impressive and valuable to the hiring manager.
  3. Advocate for you. If a recruiter submits you to a recruiting manager, it’s because s/he saw potential for you to be good in a particular team/position. As such, s/he will be able to argue your case to the employer (and will want to since recruiters are paid to find people who get hired.)

Here’s what a recruiter usually will NOT do:

  1. Sit you down and explore lots of different options
  2. Go out there and find jobs for you to apply to
  3. Force the employer to hire you

Now that you have a better idea as to the support and guidance you can expect, what are the things you can do to  get the most from any recruiter?

  1. Build good will by being responsive. Hate it when you don’t hear back from a recruiter for weeks on end? Well, we don’t like that very much either. If you help us by keeping us in the loop, we will want to help you that much more.
  2. Be honest. There are benefits to hiding your cards, but a good recruiter has your best interest in mind. No one wins if you leave for another company after a few months. If you let us get to know you, the improved understanding of your personality, goals and singularities will enable us to represent you more accurately and to make better suggestions regarding openings.
  3. Be understanding. It may not seem like it from your end, but there is actually a lot of elements recruiters do not have control over. Case in point: sometimes a hiring manager will not return our phone calls or reply to our emails for weeks, so we have no updates to give you, no matter how many times you ask. Or we can receive feedback that someone we submitted was not a good fit, but no details as to why, so we have no advice to offer to help you be more successful next time. As much as you may want to take the frustration of the job hunt out on a recruiter, try to remember that we can be powerful allies and that sometimes we’re just doing our best to connect you to a job but don’t have the power to hire you ourselves. 

The take homes are that recruiting can be messy, and that recruiters can help you but will not do all of the work for you. You still have to go out there, find jobs, apply to them, and give some great interviews. Oh, and recruiters are people too. Treat us well and we will (for the most part) return the favor.

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9 thoughts on “What a Recruiter Will and Will Not Do For You

  1. Grumpy cat, so cute. Hey, I took a somewhat plunge into Etsy. I set up my store and have been putting stuff on it. I just have not paid and got the items out to buy yet. One step at a time. I had never heard of this job description except for the military?

      • Recruiter in another line then a one wanting you in the army, etc. I have been trying to get back to you here all week. Wow, posting on Etsy takes so much time to do it well. I can send you a link, but though I am preparing with making and getting stuff-mainly supplies I want to get rid of for focus, I have not posted anything to sell yet since I want to do it and not get overwhelmed at first. Hey, I did do 3 treasuries though. I love that and had to slap myself and say stop. it appeals so much to my decorating and color mindset. Creativity ideas just do not quit in my mind.https://www.etsy.com/your/shops/KalyensBluRibbonFair/preview. I guess you can see the stuff though maybe. I do not know if I like this or not. Kind of pushes me a little, but maybe good to whet appetites. I don;t know. Takes so long to post as I said to draft.

      • Oh no I couldn’t access the link. I think your shop may still be set to private.

        Let me know once it’s up and running! I loved arts & crafts so much when I was younger. What kinds of things will you be making and selling?

      • Yes maybe I am the only one that sees it. I just have gotten a few followers and it seemed like it was out there and just said , thing cannot be bought or something. I am going to make a variety of stuff. I know it is better to focus on single aspects, but i have a lot of supplies of all kinds I need to put to use. I am going to be making party supplies and kid’s stuff eventually. I and my daughter made polymer clay stuff today for jewelry and whatever. I will see how it goes and maybe zone in more on more of one type of handmade things when I get some room made in my small craft room. I also have a lot of vintage from years of buying and I just want to get rid of stuff. I had started selling it and other things on an auction site called web store which costs nothing, but not doing well so even though Etsy charges, I may have to go to listing my old stuff on there also as well as back to ebay or another.thanks for your support and will let you know when I am able to open it.

      • Make sure you check out Etsy’s policies before listing your vintage things – I was thinking about selling on there and I think they may have a section that mentions everything needs to be altered in some way before you sell it (may not be the case anymore, but I’d check just to be safe.)

        Have you thought about blogging about how to make things and selling kits to make it on Etsy? You could give the link to your blog with the kits and publicize your Etsy store on your blog. I’ve heard of a startup that sells DIY kits, so why not you? =]

      • Thanks. Sorry, I am long in replying. I moved and am just now getting back on scedule. that is a great idea. Will think on it and when I am back completely up and running may do hjust that.

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