When you have identified one or two recruiters with whom you would like to build a long-term relationship, it’s important to follow a few best practices to get the most out of the experience.
1) Respect the recruiter. Do not send your resume to the same company that your recruiter is contacting on your behalf. It sounds obvious, but some candidates call or email the company, thinking it shows enthusiasm. But many companies will view this as unprofessional or impatient.
2) Set expectations upfront. Every recruiter is different, so you need to spell out how the process is going to work. How often should you check in with them? Do you call or email? Will the recruiter contact you if you get invited to an interview? And always let the recruiter know your other job possibilities, especially if you are considering an offer.
3) Limit the number of recruiters you work with to one or two. Otherwise it could actually hinder your job search. You could windup with too many copies of your resume floating around at the same potential employer. Or worse, if you are still in a position, word could leak out to your current employer that you are job hunting. By limiting the number to one or two recruiters, it enables you to be more discreet with your job search.
4) Understand their limitations. Recruiters have to present candidates that fit the pre-determined criteria they receive from their clients. If your background doesn’t quite fit, don’t waste your time and theirs trying to convince them. Just wait for the next opportunity.
5) Always return a call or email from a recruiter. You may not be interested in a new job right now, but they’ll remember a courteous, professional reply and keep you in mind. Try to help recruiters by referring someone you know, too. The gesture will build good will for the future. Talk to them for five minutes; find out what they specialize in, what regions, and who their top clients are. Ask for their contact information via email and ask them to keep you mind for future opportunities.
6) Don’t wait for a recruiter to call you. Do your research, find the best recruiters, and develop a relationship with them before you need them. That way you’ll be in their database and ready to begin a job hunt immediately, should your circumstances change.
Finally, keep in touch with your recruiters as time goes on. Let them know how you’re progressing in your current job, even if you have no plans to change. The relationships you establish and cultivate with top recruiters can play a significant role in your landing your next investment banking job.