Choosing a recruiter

It can be a difficult task deciding who is best to help you find that one career-making opportunity. Below is some advice on choosing which recruiter is best equipped to ensure you get that break-through.

Why work with a Recruiter? 

Professional recruitment consultants are experts in matching people to roles, and can be an invaluable source of information on the local marketplace - who is recruiting, when, how and for which positions.  Often recruiters have access to vacancies and opportunities which aren’t advertised, and can work to create new opportunities based on knowledge of their clients’ current and future business needs.

Good recruiters can advise on how to best approach your preferred organisations, with appropriate and up to-date CV and interview tips based on industry standards, in addition to providing proactive recommendations on positions or areas you may not have considered. 

A qualified and experienced recruiter will also provide independent careers advice - they can assist you with weighing up the pros and cons of different career paths, and offer a realistic appraisal of the local marketplace, together with information on salary levels, company cultures, working environment, ongoing support and much more.

How to get the best from your Recruitment Consultant

1. Be professional, honest and clear

Your recruiter is meeting with you to clearly understand and define your goals and aspirations in order to help source your next opportunity, and to provide you with advice, recommendations and referrals that will assist you in your search.

It’s important that you provide your recruiter with genuine information about what you do and don't want, and openly discuss your aspirations, motivations and career history. 

2. Prepare for the recruiter meeting

Experienced and established recruiters work to multiple client processes, and as such will request additional supporting documents such as ID, qualification certificates, proof of address, reference details.  Timely provision of these will greatly assist and speed up your search.

It’s also important to give serious thought to what you do and don’t want to do; what salary level you need to achieve and what your longer term plans may be.  Be prepared to discuss these areas, but also be open to constructive feedback and a flexible approach to gain the best outcomes.

3. CVs

Your CV is a starting point for what should be an active document, and ultimately the tool to enable you to secure an interview with your employers of choice.  It’s crucial to adapt your CV for each role, every time – you need to consider the role and employer you are applying to and then to include or remove appropriate information in support of this.

Whilst a good recruiter will assist and guide, this is your document and you are best placed to understand and update your work history, skills and aspirations.

4. Communication

A good recruiter could be assisting 10-20 potential candidates per week, all of whom have different requirements, expectations and service agreements.   Subsequently, it’s important to set communication expectations and agree on the best way to work together moving forward.

Every individual has different expectations on the levels of communication expected, so agree on timeframes and methods to review your search. 

It might be just a call when a great potential opportunity comes up, a regular scheduled discussion or an email check-in every two weeks.  Discuss what works for you both, and ensure your contact methods are always up to-date and actively monitored; when that dream job comes up, you need your recruiter to be able to get hold of you!

Always remember that communication is a two way process – take control of your own job search and ensure you remain active, updated and accessible.

5. Review your progress

If your initial expectations or aims haven’t produced the results you expected within a reasonable timeframe, request a review meeting and explore other ideas or approaches – ask your recruiter for feedback and guidance, and equally, keep them updated with your own progress, CV additions and amends plus any change in circumstances.

Top tips for a successful job search

  • Prepare, research and review; tailor each approach based on the role and employer
  • Maximise social media, networks and contacts; be your own brand champion
  • Sign up for job alerts and updates; understand your options and value
  • Understand your strengths and preferences; equally be open to areas you may not have identified
  • Ask questions and stay in touch; your recruiter is there to help
  • Manage your own job search – know where your cv is being sent and why
  • Follow-up – gain feedback and review for each application
  • Understand how to improve and adapt  to increase your employability
  • Stay motivated, positive and in control

6. Choose your recruiter well 

Is your recruiter experienced, qualified and approachable?  Do they have extensive contacts, a great track record in the areas you are seeking employment and represent the employers you want to work for?  Will they enhance your job search with credibility, professionalism and real results? 

Always remember, your recruiter is providing a service and should be working for you, representing your best interests.  Personal recommendation can often be a great indicator, together with membership of the relevant recruitment industry bodies such at the REC and IRP, and adherence to the Good Recruitment Guide.

Download the full PDF 


The above article has been written and contributed by Paragon Recruitment. To get in touch with a member of their team contact 01624 665115 or visit


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