How to Build an Authentic Relationship with a Recruiter

In today’s tight job market with a historically low unemployment rate, recruiters now more than ever have been reaching out to an extended pool of candidates. Whether it’s via email, LinkedIn message or text messaging, recruiters are on the prowl for top talent to help fill the 7.1 million open jobs in the US. As a job seeker or someone who is interested in building their professional network, now is the time to capitalize on the chance to build and develop relationships with recruiters.

Recruiters not only provide opportunities for new job positions but also give expert advice about the current job market, specific industries or functions, and career advice. Establishing a collaborative relationship with a staffing professional can open the doors to endless career opportunities that otherwise would’ve been closed to you. Being recruiting professionals ourselves, we are sharing the best ways to build a strong, two-way relationship with a recruiter.

Capture-10 Check-in…periodically

Find a respectable balance when it comes to communicating and connecting with a recruiter. Keep in mind recruiters are busy people, especially in today’s booming market. Don’t contact them every day asking if they found you a job yet but also don’t ‘ghost’ them. Recruiters want to stay up-to-date with your job search whether you’ve found a job or you’re still actively seeking. Our recruiters suggest checking in every week or every other week. By doing this, you will remain fresh in their mind when a job opportunity opens and matches your unique career goals.

Capture-11 Ask Questions 

This is especially important when you are first introduced to a recruiter. Ask the recruiter about their agency and get a feel for what they’re like as a staffing professional. This relationship should be a two-way street, they will ask you multiple questions and you should do the same. You want to build a connection with someone who you feel will listen to your career goals and aspirations and help you move forward in your job search. Meet with a recruiter face-to-face to ask questions and discuss your wants and needs, this will help form a trusting and long-lasting professional relationship.

Capture1 Places you’ve applied

As soon as you start working with a recruiter, let them know where you’ve previously applied, whether it was with another agency or individually. If you want to foster a genuine relationship with a recruiter, don’t make them look bad to clients. If they send your resume to an organization that you’ve already applied to, they will look like they have no knowledge of who they’re representing. Avoid this trouble by informing the recruiter where and when you applied, sooner rather than later!

Capture3-1 Transparency is more than essential 

When it comes to your career, there’s no need to beat around the bush. Recruiters are the last people you should have to lie or exaggerate to. If a recruiter presents you a job that you don’t believe is a good match, then let them know. Be open, tell them why, and give a better idea of what you are looking for. Recruiters want to help steer you down the right career path, not the wrong one. Being transparent will give the recruiter a much better understanding of how they can best assist you in a timely manner.

Capture-12 Ask for resume advice (ONLY advice)

If you’re looking for someone to rewrite your resume or cover letter, recruiters are not the people! They are a great resource when it comes to helping update and tweak your resume but don’t expect them to execute it for you. Ask for tips and advice on formatting, word choice, what to keep and what to scratch, etc. Recruiters will give professional, knowledgeable feedback considering they sift through hundreds of resumes each week and know what clients look for in a candidate’s resume.

Building and developing a relationship with a recruiter will help you get one step closer to your dream job. To keep a mutually beneficial relationship, don’t forget to make referrals. Follow these professional suggestions and you will get the absolute most out of a relationship with a recruiter.


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