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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Rosenthal

Unlocking Your Dream Job: 6 Moves to Unleash the Magic of a Recruiter Partnership

The job search landscape is tough out there right now. The US job numbers have been consistently positive, but each search is competitive. That’s why your search can feel challenging, even when you have the support of a recruiter. In this post, I thought I’d share a few tips to help you build a productive and strategic partnership with your recruiter.


1. Take an intellectually honest personal assessment of your skills and suitability for a role.

Share with your recruiter:

  • Key strengths and weaknesses (introvert/extrovert, right brain/left brain, etc).

  • Track record of success in each role. USE SPECIFIC EXAMPLES that you quantify whenever possible (“I grew sales” vs. “I grew sales 87%” vs. “I grew sales from $1M to $5M in three years with a team of two.”).

You can search online to find free skills and aptitude assessments or click here. Our friends at Crothers Consulting can also help you do a deeper dive into your strengths and areas for growth.


2. Seek to match your personal strengths with position requirements.

Keep in mind that your recruiter might not have an open position that meets your needs today, but you will be top-of-mind as the opportunities arise, so touch base monthly.

  • Highlight/lead with your best attributes that you have identified in your personal assessment (excellent writer, strong analytical skills, excellent leader…).

  • The more that you concentrate on your strengths and leverage them, the better you will perform.

  • The personal assessment (reflecting on what you are good at) will help the recruiter put you into a situation that aligns you strategically within your future team.

3. Explicitly target roles, industries, companies, geographies. 

Doing some targeting in these areas will give your recruiter a better idea of what you’re looking for. By giving specifics around your search, you’re more likely to stay top-of-mind with your recruiter and avoid getting lost in a database. Keep in mind:

  • Recruiters will not always have the appropriate open job for you.

  • Great recruiters have strategic partnerships/relationships with clients and know what direction these clients are going as well as challenges they are facing.

  • The best recruiters, with permission, will proactively float talented resumes to longtime business associates.


4. It’s easier to get a new job while you are still employed.

Start early and plan (for example, if you know your company is being acquired or is relocating). It could take a few months to find the right opportunity. So as soon as you can, let a recruiter know you’re open to new roles. You can proactively reach out to new recruiters who may not know your background.

  • Update your resume and LinkedIn profile while you have a job. In an ideal world, it’s better to start networking before you are in transition. Even if you love your job, things can happen quickly outside your control that can put you suddenly in the job market. 

  • If you’re not currently working, eliminate the question in the hiring manager’s mind about why it didn’t work out with your last employer (whenever possible). Definitely let your recruiter know what happened so they can properly convey your message to the potential employer and present you in the best light.

  • Negotiate from a position of strength. The best time to look for a new opportunity is when you have a job, as you look at everything more objectively and can better negotiate your desired compensation.

5. Always share total compensation requirements.

  • It's not just about salary. Base salary, bonuses and equity awards all count toward your desired compensation package.

  • Timing of payouts may have an impact on the recruiter’s negotiations on your behalf. Make your recruiter aware of any scheduled payouts that you may need to walk away from if you accept an offer before the payout is made.

  • Recent or upcoming promotions. If you’re promoted or have a pending promotion during your recruitment process, mention it to your recruiter so that there’s no surprises as you move forward.

  • Just a reminder: no one can ask you what you're currently making -- only what you desire to make in the next role.


6. Communicate clearly and honestly with your recruiter – ideally, it’s a long-term


  • Be transparent about other jobs you are currently considering.

  • Explain your expectations clearly for onsite, hybrid and remote career opportunities.

  • Goodwill compounds the value of every relationship. It’s not about this job but rather a long-term career relationship that maximizes value for candidates, clients and recruiters. 

  • Create a win/win partnership. Understand the value of continuing to develop the relationship to maintain it through your career.


These tips should help you navigate the world of recruiters, and build better relationships as you find your next exciting career opportunity!


I look forward to speaking with you soon!

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