How to Get the Best Job Search Help From a Recruiter

Do's and Don'ts for Working With a Professional Healthcare Recruiter

Businesswoman conducting an interview
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Professional recruiters, sometimes referred to as "headhunters," can be a very effective resource to help you with your job search. There are many recruiters and search firms that specialize in placing healthcare professionals with healthcare facilities and other employers in the healthcare sector.

For the best results when consulting with a recruiter for help finding a medical job, there are a few things that you can do, when you are working with a recruiter, that will help make the experience a more effective one that results in a wonderful new career for you.

DO's - How to Help a Recruiter Help You

Be Honest - Misrepresenting your intentions, your background, experience, or qualifications will come back to haunt you eventually. Experienced, professional, healthcare recruiters know what to look for, and they will do thorough background checks.

Also, tell the recruiter about any employers with whom you are scheduled to interview so that he or she won’t duplicate efforts, or muddy the waters by presenting you twice, which could cause the client to remove you from consideration in favor of other candidates.

Ask Questions - Be sure to ask about the recruiter's experience level, client base, and area of expertise, particularly in the healthcare sector in which you wish to work.

Follow Up - A recruiter wants to know that you’re interested in a position. Be sure to communicate periodically regarding any questions, feedback from an interview, changes in your job search status, and anything that would be helpful for a recruiter to know in order to better assist you with your job search.

Be Professional - Recruiters may not make the final decision, but they are the very first point of contact or entry into a company. You should treat them as if they are a hiring manager at the company where you want to be employed. Proofread all written communication and be sure to maintain professionalism in all interactions with a recruiter, at all times!

Work With Multiple Recruiters - It is good to work with more than one recruiter. However, you should keep it to 2-3 at the most, or else you'll saturate the market, as there will likely be some overlap from one recruiting firm to the next, depending upon how specialized the firms are. When you have multiple recruiters representing you to the same client, it is a sticky situation for everyone involved. It can also make you look desperate. Again, keep your recruiters informed, and, not only will they will be more likely to work hard for you, the more they know about your situation, the better they will be able to help you succeed in your job search.

DON'TS - What NOT to Do When Working With a Recruiter or Headhunter

Don’t Disappear - Please, don't "ghost" your recruiter! If you decide you’re not interested in a job, let the recruiter know that. A good recruiter is not going to try to pressure you, and your feedback could be valuable to the recruiter, and his or her client, as well as for the future of your job search. If you pull a disappearing act you could be "flagged," so that no other recruiters at that company, or in that network, will work with you in the future.

To decline an interview, it is best to notify the recruiter promptly, in a polite and professional way, and tie up loose ends, so that the door will be left open for future positions.

Don’t Be a Pest - Follow up is good, pestering is bad. It’s okay to follow up one or two times a week throughout the process if you’re awaiting feedback. This shows interest and tenacity. However, if you call ten times a day, you will appear desperate, which is bad for a job search, and not a good reflection on you as a candidate, either!

Don’t Take It Personally - If a recruiter doesn’t call you back, follow up as noted above. If he or she still doesn’t respond, it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Most likely, it just means that your skill set is not a match for their current openings.

Try sending an email stating that you’d like to be considered for other positions, and leave it at that. Most successful recruiters cannot possibly return every candidate call or discuss every turn-down. It’s just not realistic based on the volume of candidates each recruiter is handling.

Don’t Go Around a Recruiter to Their Client - This is a sure way to get blacklisted, and it almost never works in your favor. If the recruiter has already presented your information to the client, and then you contact the client, the client company now has a dilemma as to who gets "credit" for sourcing the candidate (you). This could ultimately affect your candidacy because sometimes the simplest solution for the hiring manager who’s caught in the middle is to remove you from consideration.

Keep in mind that not all recruiters can help you, and you may not be a fit for many recruiters' job openings. That's why clear, open communication is paramount to ensure the best, most productive relationship with professional recruiters.

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