Andy Ryan—Getty Images
By Leah Arnold-Smeets / PayScale
March 14, 2016

Communicating with a recruiter is much like a first date. You know he’s interested in what you have to offer, or else he wouldn’t have contacted you, right? Then again, how many other qualified candidates is he in communication with? Ugh! The anticipation and waiting are enough to make you want to curl up in a ball and weep your eyes out. Before you go full stalker mode, learn some of the dos and don’ts of communicating with recruiters so you don’t wind up on the blacklist of candidates.

Recruiters are hired to fill a given job position with the most qualified candidate they can find, so they spend hours scouring the internet trying to find any and all candidates who meet the requirements. If and when you are contacted by a recruiter, it’s important to keep your cool and understand that, although you may fit the bill, you’re most likely not the only candidate being considering for the job.

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Likewise, a recruiter will contact you if and when he needs further clarification about anything listed on your resume, so don’t feel the need to hound him and force-feed him your entire list of qualifications – because, trust me, he’s already seen it on your resume and LinkedIn profile. Despite your efforts to appear tenacious and determined, constant correspondence will only come off as desperate. To save yourself from scaring off a recruiter who could potentially place you in your dream career, here are some tips to consider:

Dos

1. Do review the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile to familiarize yourself with his career and client.

2. Do look to see who your mutual friends/connections are on social media, if any.

3. Do send a thank-you message/email after you’ve spoken with the recruiter.

4. Do skim through and clean up your social media accounts carefully.

5. Do continue your job search, because having a recruiter on your side isn’t a guarantee that you’ll land a job.

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Don’ts

1. Don’t send a Facebook friend request or try to connect on any other social media network. Keep business and pleasure separate.

2. Don’t ask to connect on LinkedIn until the recruiter makes the first move.

3. Don’t stalk social media and comment on a photo they’ve posted or in which they’re tagged.

4. Don’t lie to a recruiter about your experience or qualifications.

5. Don’t delay in returning a recruiter’s phone or email message.

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My hope in explaining this is to help you see things from a recruiter’s perspective. The best thing you can do for yourself and your career is to build a long-lasting relationship with a good recruiter, because they have the connections that you need to find your dream job. Happy hunting!

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