Articles > Use Your Recruiter as a Sounding Board for Suggestions - by Scott Brown
When each new position that is posted in the paper or on a job board receives 200 resumes or more, every one of you could use an extra edge to get ahead in your job quest. Where would you look for additional information about a company, about the hiring manager or about the position itself? One great place to look is at the agency that is recruiting for that position.
Recruiters have generally spent time with the hiring manager and will usually have some inside information about the job or the company. Overall, they have an inside position because most hiring managers will state up front what type of person they are looking for.
For your initial contact, you really need to have a resume that will knock their socks off. Spend some extra time getting your resume fixed so that you look like a perfect candidate for this position. When you send it over for consideration, make sure your cover letter is tight also.
Always ask for a meeting or interview to further discuss your qualifications and be available to meet. When the recruiter calls, offer to meet them after work at a coffee shop or another neutral location. This will allow them to relax and hopefully open up some about the position.
What to ask
Once you get them on neutral ground, start listening for indicators that they are willing to provide additional information about the position. Then, start asking them whatever you would like to know about the position, the hiring manager or the company. Remember, they get paid for placing you in that position.
So, ask the recruiter about the corporate culture, the environment, the rigidity of the management staff, the company itself, how well the company is doing, and finally ask them about the position.
Ask them if the position is a new one or if someone left. If someone left, ask them why. Ask them about longevity in this position and the possibility for advancement. Ask them what special skills you should stress to stand out in the list of interviewees. Finally, ask them about the salary and if there is any room for negotiation.
Overall, if you develop a rapport with a recruiter, they may become your most important source of information throughout the hiring process. If you get an interview with the company, follow up with the recruiter to see how you did and to thank them for the help. Even if you donít get an interview or the position, stay on good terms with that recruiter because they might be recruiting for the next position that you are looking at.
Scott Brown is the author of the Job Search Handbook (http://www.JobSearchHandbook.com). As editor of the HireSites.com weekly newsletter on job searching, Scott has written many articles on the subject. He wrote the Job Search Handbook to provide job seekers with a complete yet easy to use guide to finding a job effectively.
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