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What recruiters really wish job seekers knew

They want you to get hired as much as you do. Help them help you land the right gig.

What recruiters really wish job seekers knew

Think of recruiters like a trusted wingman or wingwoman: They want to help you find a new job, but not just any job—a job you’ll love and can see yourself committing to in the long run. Recruiters spend all day trying to make a match for their clients, and it can be tough when people give vague responses, don’t respect their schedule or don’t make an effort to do well in interviews.

To help kick-start a fruitful partnership, Monster asked eight recruiters to share what they wish job seekers knew.

Specific trumps vague

“Name specific industries, employers and roles. For example, instead of saying, ‘I want to work in government,’ say, ‘I am really excited about health care regulatory issues, and I would be very interested in working in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or one of their agencies, as a policy analyst.’ This gives clarity to recruiters, and they could potentially make introductions based on that description.” —Jason Levin, career and outplacement coach with Ready, Set, Launch in Washington, D.C.

Knowledge is power

“Job seekers should always know as much as is practical about the company they're interviewing with. Within the context of an interview, an ability to carry on a conversation that includes relevant business information about revenue, ownership, history, product, etc., is extremely valuable.” —Frank Zupan, director of talent management with Associated Materials in Cleveland

Culture compatibility matters

“Tell me why you think we’re a good match for you, rather than why you’re a good match for us. Show me you know us.” —Lisa Kaminski, talent engagement director for Ingage Partners in Cincinnati

Super-early isn’t better than on time

“Showing up to an interview too early is almost as bad as being late. By all means, leave home early so you arrive stress-free, but then relax outside. Walk in 15 minutes beforehand. Use the restroom, look at yourself in the mirror and make any adjustments. Check in with the receptionist five minutes before your appointment. It’s stressful for me if I know someone has arrived very early and is looming outside.” —Auggie Negele, chief people officer for HomeScout Realty in Chicago

It’s OK to be picky

“You are interviewing the company as much as the company is interviewing you. Employment is like a marriage: You don't want to hitch your wagon to just any company. Make sure it feels right before you sign on the dotted line.” —John Paul Engel, president of Knowledge Capital Consulting in Sioux City, Iowa

Salary guidelines aren’t final

“We have to have the salary conversation, and it’s OK if job seekers have a different number in mind than we do. Have a justification for your salary number and be ready to discuss it, instead of acting like the number is a secret or like you may or may not be offended. The employer is not out to get you.” —Kristina Minyard, corporate recruiter for Dynetics in Huntsville, Alabama

Patience is a virtue

“If you call or text me constantly or blow up my email, I will most definitely not call you back. I wait on responses from other people too—I'm not getting back to you because I have no new information to share.” —Erin Stevens, corporate recruiter with MasterBrand Cabinets in Louisville, Kentucky

Rejection isn’t personal

“As tough as it might be, don't take ‘no’ personally. A match isn't a match, and the reason is usually not something you can fix.” —Tammy Colson, owner of TalentCrib in Cleveland


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