Do’s and Don’ts to Make Recruiters your Friends, not Foes…


Recruiters have always received a fair amount of abuse and criticism from job hunters, particularly when the candidates do not get selected for a job that ‘they think’ they are an ideal fit!

A quick google search will uncover lots of opinions including, that recruiters are “trash”, “scum” “liars” “useless” or perhaps the recruiter “ghosted me”, ‘didn’t call” “is not helpful” and a whole lot more and worse!

Well, just like there are good hotels and not so good ones, or great staff and terrible staff, recruiters do come in all forms, whether they are from an agency or company environment.

There are certainly some poorly trained or unethical recruiters out there who deserve criticism, but most times a recruiter is just a conduit to a great new career path. They act on the behalf of the employer who sets the candidate selection criteria, so are more like a dating agency than an evil force trying to destroy your career.

Common sense should of course tell you that it is better to be on good terms with any specialist industry recruiters and now I am on the other side, I realise all the more how important this can be…

So what are some of the do’s and don’t to get a recruiter onside and move you closer to that dream job? Let’s start with the don’ts: –


Call, email and message the recruiter 50 times, after you have been told that you do not match the candidate profile for the job.Honestly, if you didn’t match the 1st time, you still won’t match on the 43rd time…Tell the recruiter that he needs to work harder to promote your candidacy…Yes – amazingly this happens – don’t you think that if the recruiter thought you were suitable, he would champion your cause? After all, he is the one who makes a living from matching candidates to client specifications.Tell the recruiter he is racist, sexist, ageist, or anything else ‘ist’ for not shortlisting you.Please remember – 3rd party and specialist recruiters do not set the criteria and requirements for the candidates, these are set by the client. The job is to best match candidates to the (often, very specific) criteria given by the client.Send the recruiter a ranting email message when you are not shortlisted.Hmm… I sure you feel much better getting all that frustration out, but do you think that recruiter or any of his colleagues will ever consider you again? Recruiters have looong memories…Lie on your CV (or stretch the truth, if you justify it that way). It is really not going to help you get a job.As soon as you are found out, the recruiter will never go near you again – even if the error (lie) was a minor one…and you will be found out!Similar to the above, don’t send a CV then at some future time send another that is materially different.Why would anyone do this – recruiters these days have databases, so these discrepancies are easier than ever to pick up, and also don’t forget, recruiters have loooong memories…Post “I’m interested” on the social media job listing from the recruiterIf you are interested take the opportunity to update your CV and apply for the job with a compelling cover letter…


If a recruiter calls or writes to you about your job application, do have the courtesy to reply…Recruiters keep track and although you may have already found something else or have been on holiday, remember your next application might be your ideal job but you probably won’t be contacted if you have history… recruiters have very looong memories…Answer the questions asked in the advert or application process.This information is required to evaluate your suitability – if it was not required it would not be asked for…Respond promptly to all communication/email/phone calls if at all possible.Most recruiters work on very tight timelines, so if you delay then the opportunity may be gone.Be selective with the recruiter you work with…Only consider those professionals who respect your privacy, confidentiality, and act in an ethical manner – we agree that some recruiters are… !@#$% Finally, do understand that when the recruiter says that they will keep you in mind for future opportunities, they do actually mean it!

Recruiters are people just like you and can be far from perfect, but in so many ways get a bad rap. The recruiters’ objective is to find the best possible candidate for the employer, and they have no particular agenda – after all, that is who pays their fees!


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