Four Don'ts When
Dealing With Corporate Recruiters
What's the first step to getting a job
interview? Getting past the recruiter.
Recruiters are usually your first
contact with a potential employer. And they often decide whether
your resume lands on the hiring manager's desk or in a far-off
While it's important to know the basics
of what recruiters do, you also need to know what they DON'T do.
After all, you don't want an inappropriate request to ruin your
chances for an interview.
Here are four things you shouldn't ask
of a recruiter.
Don't Be Overly Friendly
Sure, recruiters are usually warm, friendly and helpful. After all,
it's their job to put you at ease and guide you through the hiring
process. But they're professional colleagues, and it's crucial that
you never forget it.
Think of the recruiter as a respected coworker and treat them
accordingly. Be friendly, but not overly casual or familiar. It's
wise to keep personal conversations, jokes and physical contact to a
After a tough interview with a hiring
manager, you may be relived to see a recruiter's smiling face. Don't
be tempted to let your guard down though; you're still "on," even if
the interview has ended.
A useful rule of thumb: Don't say or do
anything in front of a recruiter that you wouldn't say or do in
front of your boss (or your mother).
Don't Expect Career Coaching
The recruiter's goal is not to help you
get a job. It's to help you navigate the hiring process at one
Recruiters aren't career coaches. It's
not appropriate to ask them to help you craft your cover letter,
edit your resume or plan your career path.
You can ask questions about the company
or industry in general, but try to relate your questions to the job
you're being considered for. And save your best, most thoughtful
questions for the hiring manager -- that's who you need to impress
Don't Ask for Insider Information
There's only one job candidate you
really need to worry about: You.
Though it may be hard to resist, don't
ask about who you're up against for a job. Recruiters generally
won't share information about other candidates. And asking for
specific details about the competition makes you look insecure in
your own skills.
However, questions about the hiring
process or the position itself are fair game. Here are a few
questions you can feel comfortable asking:
Are you still interviewing
How large is the current pool of
How would you describe the ideal
candidate for the job?
Is there anything I can do to
make myself a stronger candidate?
The best way to get an edge on the
competition? Make yourself a more competitive candidate.
Don't Request Special Treatment
Although you may wish you were, you're
probably not the only candidate for the job.
And, while recruiters are often happy to
help, their aim is not to be your advocate to the hiring manager.
Their aim is to fill a position.
Never ask a recruiter to put in a good
word for you with the hiring manager. If they think you're a strong
candidate, they'll probably sing your praises anyway.
Also, don't ask them to relay a message
to the hiring manager for you. Instead of saying, "Tell So-and-So it
was very nice to meet him ...," send a thank you note.
Taking the initiative and speaking for
yourself shows the hiring manager that you're capable, confident and
Remember, if you treat the recruiter
well, chances are they'll treat you the same way.