You’ve likely been through your fair share of resume scrutiny, job interviews, and questions. It’s all part of the deal, right? So, too, however, is your need to make sure you end up with a competent recruiter, one who gets what you need, takes action, and lands you the right job.  It’s time for us to turn the tables a bit. Let’s talk about what you should look for in a recruiter.

Finding a Recruiter

If you’re not already working with a recruiter, or you’re working with one you don’t like, it’s overwhelming to even think about starting the search. The best way, fortunately, still seems to be word of mouth. At the very least, getting suggestions from co-workers, friends, and family will give you a starting point.

While there are those who don’t specialize in one industry, the good recruiters often do. Find a recruiter that knows the ins and outs of the IT sector, has personal connections with managers, and knows a lot of companies that are hiring. This all helps you find the right position.

Qualifying your Recruiter

Once you’ve located and contacted a recruiter who seems to fit your needs, make an appointment to meet.

Why face to face? It’s key in getting to know someone. For one thing, meeting a recruiter will allow you to do a gut check. If you don’t feel comfortable with someone, all the qualifications and skills in the world can’t make up for it!

Similarly, seeing someone in person enables recruiters to get a full sense of who you are and how you will fit into a particular company’s culture. This is also a chance to get more in depth with your resume, to really go over it in detail, among other things. If a recruiter isn’t really excited about meeting in person, brushes it off, or says he/she doesn’t really have the time; it’s not a good sign. Good recruiters are going to want to meet you. They want to understand where you’re coming from.

Once you do meet, expect a lot of questions, because that’s what good recruiters do. Think of them as a sort of detective. They need to know and understand your job history, expectations, salary history, where you see yourself five years, ten years down the road, etc. . . .Their job is to investigate you and really get a good idea of who you are, so that if a position does open up, they will know whether it’s a good fit or not. You definitely want this.

If your recruiter isn’t really trying to make a connection, isn’t really digging to find out who you are, find someone who is more willing to invest his or her time. Recruiters that take the 20 to 30 minutes to meet with you are the ones who are going to send you the openings that fit with your job history and personality. The ones who aren’t adequately doing their job are going to be sending you pretty much every opening they come across, hoping you might eventually find something you like. You definitely don’t want this!


Bottom line: good recruiters are going to get you exposure and get you right to the hiring manager of a company. Good recruiters are going to work for you, helping you to negotiate salary and benefits. They want you to like your job; they want job retention; they have your best interests in mind. Look for this and demand the best. After all, this is your job and your happiness on the line.