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How to get agency recruiters to love you

Recruitment Agencies are a fantastic resource for job seekers and they are a FREE service! Some people may love them, some people may loathe them (and there are some super slimy ones out there!) but if you play your cards right a recruiter will help you in more ways than you realise.


  • Make your resume easy to read. See my post on how to make a resume that’s out of this world. A recruiter will see hundreds of resumes a week and if yours is clear and concise it’ll make their decision to call you or not a hella lot easier.
  • Be open and honest about your expectations. Recruiters will match jobs to candidates so if you tell a recruiter you want $75K and not a penny less when something at 65K comes up they won’t consider you. Give them your bottom line, your ideal and your dream salary. Think of it this way: the more money you get paid the higher commission they will charge the client. The same goes for other criteria – i.e. the location you will travel to. If one area is too long a commute for you, tell them so. It’s frustrating when you tell a candidate about an awesome job opportunity in an area they said they would/or wouldn’t travel to, only for them to change their mind.
  • Realise they can only represent the best candidates. Recruitment agencies charge thousands of dollars to companies for finding them top talent and so if you are lacking experience and /or qualifications don’t get grumpy when they say you’re not the best fit for a role.
  • Remember this is a free service to you! A recruiter doesn’t owe you anything but if you’re respectful and courteous they could help you no end. Recruitment professionals know the local market inside and out, they are connected with hundreds of business professionals. Why not ask them of any companies you would benefit from approaching, ask them what areas you may be lacking in experience, ask them if your salary expectations are in line with the current market conditions. This is all free advice and if you’re lucky they may be able to get you a job out of it too!
  • Remember: Only one in ten candidates a recruiter meets will get a job from them. Don’t expect every connection with a recruiter to lead to a job. Make sure to send a casual email maybe once every few weeks just saying “I’m still available, no pressure”. Some candidates will expect a recruiter to be their personal career coach and make all the effort while the candidate just sits back and watches re runs of Jerry Springer. You are 100% in charge of finding a new opportunity and a connection with a recruiter is a great addition to multiple job search avenues.
  • Be respectful of confidential information. The recruitment industry is crazy competitive and being able to be respectfully confidential is a wonderful quality in a candidate. A recruiters relationship with certain clients should be kept confidential, as is your relationship with them. A recruiter won’t go telling your boss that you’re looking and you shouldn’t tell a rival agency what clients the other recruiter is working with. It’s bad mojo!
  • Don’t harass them. A recruiter juggles many candidates and their voicemail box is full of messages like “It’s John, call me” and when they call John back realise he just wants to ask if there are any jobs for him. This call is a waste of a recruiter’s precious time and is frustrating. If a candidates calls too much; an agency will just start to ignore the calls. If there is a job for you, trust me, they will have you on speed dial.
  • Be nice. Spend the time with a recruiter in a positive way. All day long a recruiter hears about how candidates hate their job and boss. Hearing this 8 hrs a day is mentally draining. It’s fine to say why you want to leave your current role (and be honest) but then make sure you don’t spend the whole meeting talking about what a jerk Charlie is. I once interviewed a candidate and every question I asked he answered with a story about how the HR Manager did this or that. At the end of the interview I knew more about the HR Manager than I did the candidate!
  • Say thank you. Again, a recruiter will not charge you for any advice or help they give you (if they do then they are super dodgy, run for the hills!). A simple thank you note, card or email will melt their stone cold heart and will make them more likely to consider you for the next job that hits their desk. One of our long term temps would make a point of coming into the office once and month and dropping off candy for the whole office. Guess who got called first when new roles came in?



  • P.S. A note for hiring managers who are being called/emailed by recruitment agencies. Be respectful and courteous, you never know when you may need their help! A simple “Thanks but, no thanks” goes a long way.