How to Recruit Recruiters for Your Job Search

Learn the right way to partner with recruiters to land a new job. 


I would like to have recruiters help me get a job. How do I go about getting that assistance? The current way is obviously not working very well. Thank you. 

– Randy B., Marshalltown, IA


Remember, in the recruiting world, you are not the customer – the corporate client is. Recruiters typically won’t reach out to you unless they have the right position for you, right now.

That said, utilizing recruiters should be part of every job seeker’s strategy (along with job applications and networking). Read on for my top three tips for working well with recruiters.

Proactively target the right recruiters.

Use resources such as Ladders and  i-recruit to identify individual recruiters and agencies that recruit for the types of jobs you are qualified for, and interested in. Identify specific recruiters to reach out to individually, rather than posting your resume on a recruiter’s site. Whenever possible, locate the recruiter’s email address on their company site or LinkedIn profile so that you can send your resume and note of interest.

Help recruiters find you.

In addition to proactively reaching out to recruiters, make sure you’re creating a strong online presence to help recruiters find you. This includes uploading the most current version of your resume to the targeted job boards you use, and maintaining a professional online profile that’s aligned with your resume. Actively participate in relevant groups on LinkedIn and attend industry-specific networking events – recruiters also join these groups and associations to scout for potential candidates.

Spell it out.

Before you apply to a job, make sure you meet all the must-have requirements for the position. Applying to a role for which you’re unqualified shows the recruiter that you didn’t read the job description carefully. Recruiters are extremely busy – they spend an average of 6 seconds looking at your resume before deciding if it’s a fit. Make every second count by spelling out your qualifications in your cover letter, and incorporating key terms from the job description in your resume.

At the end of the day, remember that recruiter outreach is a numbers game. I recommend reaching out to five different recruiters each week, and following up on your initial messages once a week for the next five weeks.