If you are an administrative professional, you know how important it is to build a strong relationship with the executives you support. This same concept can also be applied to your relationship with your recruiter. However, the first step in building a strong relationship is to establish a sense of mutual trust. On one hand, you have to trust that your recruiter is presenting you for opportunities that would be the right fit for you; while on the other, the recruiter has to trust that you are representing them in a positive light to the client.
“As recruiters, we’re here to take on some of the most difficult aspects of the job search process, from finding excellent positions to acquiring an in-person interview,” says Lindsey Thompson, a Senior Associate within The Execu|Search Group’s Office Support & Human Resources divisions. “In order for us to properly take the reins and find you a job that you’ll love, we really need to work in tandem. At the end of the day, the more effort you put into working well with us, the harder we will work for you.”
In order to start a relationship with your recruiter on the right foot, here are Lindsey’s tips for success:
While you should generally treat your meeting with a recruiter like a typical interview, you don’t want to gloss over details that might affect the type of positions your recruiter will find for you. “When we’re getting to know a candidate, we’ll ask you a lot of questions to find out what your preferences are,” says Lindsey. “While it can feel instinctual to say yes to everything in this interview setting, it’s important to be transparent and honest with us. By keeping the lines of communication open, we can work together to find you a position that best suits your needs.” This includes being honest about expected pay and responsibilities, industry preferences, and whether you’re working with other recruiters or applying for jobs on your own.
Be sure that you’re doing your part in this job search too; while your recruiter can take on the search, you still need to come prepared to articulate your work history and key responsibilities, as well as ideas on what you understand to be logical next steps for your career. Additionally, Lindsey suggests that you trust your recruiter’s insight and market research regarding industry trends, compensation, and potential career paths. “Since we regularly receive feedback from clients and work with a wide variety of administrative professionals, we have unique insight into current market trends,” she says. Lastly, remember that while your recruiter can get you the interview, you still need to follow through. This includes properly preparing for your interviews and being flexible about your scheduling.
Administrative and other support roles move relatively quickly, and employers are often on a tight timetable to fill a position. “When we reach out to you about a position, be sure to respond as soon as possible,” says Lindsey. “A delay of just a couple of hours could result in a missed opportunity.” Additionally, be detailed in your response to avoid an unnecessary back and forth. This is also when you’ll want to ask any questions in regards to the position and be specific about your availability.
While it’s important to know what you want in your next job, it’s equally important to keep an open mind. Rather than getting caught up in the specifics of one job posting, try casting a wide net and allowing some aspects of your next job to be ambiguous at this stage. “Also, try to be open to feedback,” says Lindsey, “Any suggestions we have, from career trajectory advice to feedback on your interview performance, are to help you land a job that will meet your needs.”