6 Tips For Handling Recruiters


It happens to us all. Whether through a random LinkedIn message or cold email, recruiters take their opportunities to pitch us on a “job we may be interested in.” Most of the time we can easily identify and dismiss those of which we are clearly over-qualified for, but what about those that are narrowly within our salary and skill range?

Even then, most ignore these solicitations because they’re not actively looking or because they prefer to have complete control of the process if they are. But, sometimes utilizing a recruiter's services is the best (or even only) way to get access to rewarding and lucrative jobs that you would not otherwise find. And most applicants forget that a recruiter’s services are free, or at least they should be. In fact, let’s make that our opening tip. We hope you appreciate them all.

1. Don’t Pay

A quality and legitimate recruiter’s service will be free for the job-seeker. If they request compensation, be very cautious. It’s industry standard for the recruiter to get paid a commission by the employer only when they help secure you a job.

2. Keep Track of Your Numbers

Salespeople can’t take a test to prove their vocational aptitude like someone in engineering might. Instead recruiters and employers alike will look to rely on hard numbers. It’s important that you are taking detailed notes each quarter on your deal volume and quotas. It is so much easier to keep track of these as you go vs trying to collect it in crunch time.

3. Consider The Opportunities

It’s tempting to make a snap judgment about an opportunity if the company isn’t appealing at the first impression or the benefits don’t meet your requirements. However, all legitimate opportunities at least deserve some light research on your part. You don’t always know what a company is willing to pay or what the culture is really like until you have a conversation with a recruiter. More often than not, some of the best opportunities end up being those that you initially reject at first glance, but decide to finally just give a chance.

4. Be Respectful

The world of recruiters is relatively small and they talk. Don’t respond harshly or ever talk down to a recruiter, even if the job opportunity is nowhere near your skill level. At the end of the day, they are trying to help you. There isn’t an official “black list” shared by recruiters and employers, but there is certainly an unofficial one and, trust us, you don’t want to be on it. Word spreads.

5. Don’t Sign An Exclusive With Anyone

Some recruiters will ask you to sign an exclusive agreement with them that asks you to only navigate your job search through and with them. This is a bad deal. Don’t do it. A contract is legally binding and a breach of it could put you in hot water. The only thing you owe a recruiter is to allow them to mediate any connection they personally make for you with a particular employer. Don’t try to go around them if they brought you the opportunity. Aside from that, keep yourself free to explore opportunities using whatever other means you wish.

6. Make Sure You Can Trust Them With Your Info

If a recruiter asks for your resume, make sure you have spent time making sure they are legitimate and will keep it private. Some “recruiters” go and collect as many resumes as possible only to package them together and blast around to the ends of the earth hoping that their shotgun approach earns them a quick buck. Don’t fall for it, unless you’re the type of person that just really likes getting spam messages and calls.

We hope these tips help you navigate the somewhat murky recruiting waters well. If you’re interested in keeping things really simple with trustworthy people, you can always apply to be in our community. But, that’s only if you’re interested in the best job-finding experience you’ve ever had....

Written by Ben Debayle. Ben was a key contributor to Will Reed’s early growth.