A recruiter is usually an independent agent who works for companies to find them great talent. A recruiter is typically given a project, scouts for talent, lines up the interviews for the company and typically helps to negotiate the offer. They may also be responsible for checking references and background checks.

What can a recruiter do for you? Recruiters work hard and are paid handsomely by their clients who send them out to find that person who exactly fits their requirements. If you are looking to build on your previously industry experience, you have a solid job history, quantifiable achievements and a good academic background you may be a very attractive prospect to a recruiter!

A recruiter cannot send you into an interview for a position that does not match your background. For example, if you are a VP of Technology looking to get into commercial construction or architecture, you can pretty much sidestep the process of working through a recruiter to make your job transition.

Here are a few tips on how to manage your communications and recruiter relationships.

Tip One: Make a great impression

A recruiter’s impression of your personality can a critical factor if you want to earn the right to have the recruiter tell their client “you are going to love talking to him/her!” How you present yourself over the phone, both in courtesy and ability to articulate is critical.

Tip Two: Get focused

Don’t tell the recruiter you don’t know what you wish to do or that you can do anything! Ask them what the job is, and once you have a basic understanding, relay those skills of yours that apply. Just like an interview.

Tip Three: Know who you are talking to

Treat the recruiter just like a potential employer. Recruiters can “sell you” on your behalf. It’s their job to contact their clients and gush “I just found the perfect guy (or gal) for you! Just listen to these credentials…!” So, in this way, a recruiter can be a strong ally for you.

Bonus Tip: Persistence is key

Have you sent your resume to a great recruiting firm but no one called you? Be persistent! If you feel that particular firm can be a great help to you its worth a phone call. Ask for the recruiter who specializes in your background. Introduce yourself, share with them what you are targeting, and ask them what searches they currently have and make sure you get a copy of your qualifications to the person you spoke with. If the recruiter sounds positive, keep checking back with them. If they are interested in you, you will generally get the kind of feedback from them that will hopefully culminate in landing that dream job!