7 Job Search Tips No One Told Me


We’ve all heard that looking for a job is a full-time job on its own, and that’s true when you’re going at it alone. Within my first week working at a recruiting agency, I couldn’t believe that NO ONE had filled me on how much time I would have saved had I partnered with a recruiter. So now that I’m on the other side of the job search (and actually working for a recruiting agency!), here are the 7 tips I wish someone would have told me when I was spending countless hours applying to jobs left and right. Spoiler Alert: Partner with a Recruiter!

1. Working with a Recruiter Doesn’t Cost You a Dime

This is a big one – many job seekers mistakenly think they have to pay recruiters for their services. In general, the client or hiring manager is actually the one who pays the recruiter for the candidate. The job seeker has the opportunity to utilize free services and land a job without having to pay a dime.  

2. Recruiters Have Opportunities that Aren’t Posted on Job Boards

Recruiters have their own networks, both professional and personal, which means they are aware of a myriad of opportunities that aren’t otherwise searchable on job boards. Their networks are strong and extensive, so they are typically the first to know when a new opportunity opens up. Why not get another person on your team who’s rooting for you?

3. Recruiters Coach You through the Interview Process

Wondering whether you should bust out the pantsuit or leave the blazer at home? Not feeling so confident with your interview responses? When you partner with a recruiter, it’s like partnering with a coach. These people are industry experts, which means they have a good sense of what the potential interview questions might be and they share that information with you. A good recruiter will prep you for your interview, whether that’s through role play or Q&A.

4. Recruiters Revamp & Spruce Up Your Resume

When you first submit your resume, a good recruiter will scan your resume not only for work experience, but also for things like typos, formatting issues, inconsistencies, etc. Not sure if you need an objective statement? Need advice on how to explain your resume gap? Rather than just having your mom or significant other proofread your resume, why not have an industry professional review it for you? Now’s the time to shorten, revamp and perfect your resume before your potential employer sees it.  

5. Hiring Managers tell Recruiters the Intangibles They’re Looking for in Candidates

Hiring managers aren’t likely to explicitly write that they want a warm, bubbly and personable candidate with a good sense of humor to gel well with the team on a job description. However, hiring managers are likely to relate this information through direct dialogue with a recruiter - and your recruiter will share this info with you. You’ll know more about a company culture and exactly what they are looking for prior to interviewing. This way, you’ll be able to better leverage your personality and similar interests when meeting your potential employer for the first time.  

6. The Majority of Contract Positions Turn into Permanent Roles

Contract roles are a great way to get your foot in the door, prove your skillset and end up landing a full-time gig at a top company. Before working at a recruiting agency, I saw the word “contract” and thought it might be a 1 day to 1-week role. Those roles do exist, of course, but more often than not, contract roles are actually contract-to-hire, which means the company just wants to make sure you’re a good culture fit before bringing you on full-time.

7. The Top Companies Only Trust Agencies to Source Talent

Like me, many job seekers go to company websites or job boards to find open jobs on the market. However, most companies (especially those big-name, top-tier companies) don’t actually post their jobs to their website or generic job boards. Instead, these high-level executives work solely with agencies because they have already built a relationship with the recruiter and trust them to provide only top talent. If you want to work for Fortune 500 companies, chances are they won’t be posting their esteemed roles to job boards, so the only way to get your foot in the door is by working with a recruiter.

Job searching doesn't have to be daunting, and I wish someone would have told me that when I was knee-deep in my own job search. The good news: now you know that when you partner with the right recruiter, you save yourself a lot of time and unnecessary stress - and you get a great advocate to help you find your dream job.

(And if you’re looking for Administrative or HR roles, call Maven!)

Written by: Haley Garrison

Posted on

August 30, 2018


Job Search Advice