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4 Secrets Job Recruiters Won’t Tell You

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Job recruiters are always looking for new applicants who could potentially fill open positions for their clients. Job seekers sometimes do not understand that, although a recruiter will help you find a job, they actually work for the hiring company. If you’ve not worked with recruiters before (or you’ve not had much luck), there are a few things you should understand:

  • Recruiters try to find the best candidate for their client (the hiring company/manager).
  • They will send as many qualified candidates as possible (you will be one among many).
  • “Best in Show” gets the interview (more on this below).
  • Don’t harass them.  They will be the first to contact you if you get an interview (or, better yet, an offer).
  • Recruiters are experts on “how to get a job” and what their clients look for in candidates. Listen to what they have to say and take their advice.

1. Presentation Matters (“Best in Show”)

Recruiters are looking for the best candidate for the job. They will assess the overall presentation of applicants during interviews. The appearance, demeanor, and communication skills of a person are all very important. Your resume (content and format) is also key. Applicants who appear unkempt or unprofessional are usually skipped over. A person with a negative attitude or poor communication skills will have difficulty as well.

2. Contracts and Job Offers Are Negotiable

Once you get a job offer, the Recruiter has one thing they want you to do – accept the job. While your goal was to find a job, you want to ensure you get everything you want (within reason).  This includes the right compensation, the right company, and the right position. Many recruiters will let you know how much leeway you have when it comes to the terms of a job offer or contract. Individuals who have a perfect match with the job requirements or have advanced degrees can usually negotiate better terms (such as a higher salary, more vacation, better benefits, etc.). It is important not to be overly aggressive, but you will have minimums (compensation and benefits) in mind and you should not go below these. With that in mind, if you have a bottom line, let the Recruiter know. Press the Recruiter to negotiate for you.

3. It Is All About the Client

Applicants need to understand that the Recruiter works for the client. The client is the hiring manager or company. Recruiters are not focused on getting all applicants jobs, they are focused on getting the right person for their client. This is important to realize because recruiters are not necessarily allies to the applicants looking for work. As mentioned earlier, they will send as many qualified applicants as possible to increase their chances of filing the position.  If you are a good candidate, they will, of course, try to send you on as many interviews as possible.

Every meeting with a Recruiter should be taken seriously just as if it were an interview with an employer. Applicants will want to make sure to have a solid resume that explains any employment gaps and that highlights relevant education and experience.Click To Tweet

4. There Are No Guarantees

Although many recruiters will talk positively about a potential job or position, they often do not tell applicants that there are no guarantees. There is no guarantee of hiring and no guarantee a contract or temporary position will become permanent. This is almost always true despite any assurances otherwise that are not accompanied by formal offers or documents.

It is equally important to look, act, and speak like a confident professional at all times. Recruiters can (and should) help you refine your resume and your interview skills so that you are a great candidate. Leverage your Recruiter’s experience, you will both benefit.


The recruiting process is often shrouded in mystery, with recruiters holding cards that you may not even know exist. Knowing these four secrets can give you a unique edge in your job search. Whether it’s understanding the influence of applicant tracking systems, recognizing the importance of soft skills, deciphering coded language in feedback, or being aware that the perfect candidate doesn’t actually exist, this knowledge can serve as your secret weapon. So the next time you engage with a recruiter, you’ll be playing the game at a whole new level—your level. Good luck!

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