I was out to lunch the other day and overheard some people talking about how they would never use a recruiter to find a job and how the last recruiter one of the people used sabotaged her chance at a position. A few things went through my mind – why wouldn’t you use a recruiter to help you in your job search, and based on the way this individual was treating the waitress, she might be doing something wrong. Recruiters are here for two reasons: to help you find a job and to help find people for jobs. We are added eyes and ears to an individual’s job search. Finding a job nowadays is more about who you know rather than what you’ve done. What’s a better way to network than to use a recruiter? We don’t require your money, favors, attendance at our children’s birthday parties, or even a Facebook friendship. However, here are a couple things recruiters do need in order for us to assist you in the best way possible:

First impression is everything. As a recruiter, it is our job to analyze everything you do and say. Nothing is worse than when I meet someone for an interview and they act like I am a parole officer forcing them to be here. Your attitude at the beginning of an interview sets the tone for everything. Remember, recruiters are here to help you not hurt you, so show some enthusiasm.

In order for me to find you and job and sell you to the companies we are working with, I need job details. What did you do at your last job? Outline your daily duties, accomplishments, special projects, and responsibilities. Paint me a picture of the company and what your office looked like if you have to. Do NOT read me what you have on your resume. I want the details that are going to set you apart from someone with the same resume applying for the same job. Recruiters have the ability to present you to a company with more than just a resume.

Don’t ever assume a recruiter, or even an HR manager, knows about the industry you come from. In most cases a recruiter does specialize in a certain area, however, we may not be experts at your particular position. Don’t talk down to us because the only thing we will think is “Will this be how he/she acts if I send them to a client to interview?”

If you have questions during our interview process or need some advice, please ask. Again, we are here to help. Also, if you haven’t heard from your recruiter in a while, call them. A recruiter can do anywhere from one to 13+ interviews a day. Multiply that many interviews by five and that’s more than 50 people a recruiter could meet with in a week. Following up with your recruiter keeps you fresh in your recruiter’s mind and also keeps you in the loop for new jobs. Most importantly, if you are not interested in a position a recruiter is offering you or the assignment you are going to be starting, tell us! The last thing we want is to put you in a situation where you will be unhappy or quit, or worse, just not show up.

Hopefully these tips help you out with the next recruiter you encounter. As for the lady at lunch, I am sorry you had a bad experience with your recruiter as not all of us are perfect, but don’t let that discourage you from trying again.