- Why go to a recruiter?
The important fact is to find the recruiter that has the right jobs for you. And I mean for you. Know what you are looking for in your next job. Sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many people really don't know. It is totally acceptable for a recent college grad to be exploring lots of careers .It's a very different situation for someone with 10 to 20 years of experience. That person, even if she is switching careers, should have a good idea what her next career move looks like. If you can tell someone in a minute or less what you are looking for, you are off to a good start.

-Look at their job postings and reach. How many openings do they have in your field? Are they in your geographic area? Do they have only entry-level or very senior positions? A quick litmus test: do they have more than one job that looks right for you?

-Every industry has its jargon and abbreviations. Evaluate the recruiter's website and the job postings carefully. How well do they seem to know your field? Are they using the terminology correctly? If not, stay away -that means that they don't know what they're talking about.

-The most important piece is an agency with great client relationships. This will mean that they will have the inside track on the newest openings, and even before they have been advertised publicly.

-When speaking to a recruiter for the first time, feel free to ask them some questions. Find out how many openings they have in your line of work. How long has the company been in business and working in your field?

-When possible, connect with a particular recruiter at the firm, instead of just emailing your resume blindly to an email drop. Use LinkedIn to find that particular recruiter. A large network is a good sign but not the only one. Are they connected with people that you know (and that you could ask them about)? How long have they been recruiting -and in your field? Check out their LinkedIn groups and their postings.

-Be honest with yourself and your recruiter about your background, compensation, and career history. Those things are carefully vetted by good recruiters. You will probably be asked for verification of those things down the line and misrepresentation can cost you a good job offer.

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