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Working with a recruiter

Amanda Occhicone had a great experience working with a recruiter that led to a job at a law firm.

"I found it worked well to be very honest about my experience and expectations," says Toronto-based Occhicone. "The recruiters that I worked with were very professional and made the job hunting process much easier."

Here are some tips from both recruiters and the recruited on how a professional can help in the job hunt, how the process works and how to make the most out of the working relationship.

Why not job hunt on your own?
Simply put, recruiters provide access to information and opportunities, says Occhicone. "Recruiters have the inside scoop about certain jobs that are available and what exactly their clients are looking for. And they can be the gatekeeper for many jobs."

Nima Asrar Haghighi, a marketing specialist based in San Francisco, has worked as both a recruiter and has used the services of a recruiter to look for work. In addition to providing access to jobs that aren't necessarily publicly available, he says recruiters usually work on higher paid jobs and they also provide tips on how to present yourself.

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How does the process work?
After Occhicone contacted the agency, she had an initial meeting with the recruiters where they reviewed her resume and discussed her experience, interests and expectations. "Then, they suggested several job postings that they had that might fit my criteria," she says. "That way, they were able to find a realistic and appropriate fit for me."

In terms of their business models, they get paid by the hiring company either as a percentage of your first year's annual salary or via a portion of your hourly wage in the case of contracts, says Asrar Haghighi.

Making the most out of the working relationship
Be as open-minded as possible about positions that are presented to you, but be very honest if you're not interested, suggests Henry E. Goldbeck, president of Goldbeck Recruiting Inc., in Vancouver.

"Stay in touch with the recruiter in a way that does not obligate the recruiter to get back to you...No one likes to give bad news," says Goldbeck. Instead, tell them you are interested in a certain position and to get back to you if they feel it is warranted. "There is a big difference between a cheerful update and an obligation in an already busy day."

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-- Posted August 27, 2012
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