Working with a technical recruiter in your job search is a great way to find a job. They have
access to jobs that you don’t have access to, and can often speed up the process. In this article,
I’ll share a few tips for working with a technical recruiter as a job seeker in the IT field.
Be Honest About Your Work Situation and History
When you start working with a technical recruiter, you’ll need to provide them with your
work history. This is often in the form of a resume or CV, but it can also be via your
LinkedIn profile, or a chat over the phone.
If you’re looking for a specific role, it can be tempting to adjust your work history and current
role to give yourself an advantage. This can be OK if it’s correct – for example, highlighting
certain technologies you’ve worked with and hiding others if you want to move into a specific
However, making changes which are dishonest is not a good idea. Inflating job titles,
adjusting working dates to hide periods without work, and enhancing the numbers of your
achievements in your job title are things to avoid.
Firstly, it may come back against you because the potential employer may check these when
they contact your references. Or, you might get the job with a certain expectation, fail to meet
it, and you’ll be back looking for jobs again.
It also looks bad on the recruiter, who may be hesitant to place you in a job in the future.
So, it’s better for everyone if you’re honest about your work history and your current work
Research The Recruitment Company
If you’re thinking of working with a recruitment company (either you’re about to contact one,
or one has contacted you), it’s a good idea to research the company early in the process.
You’re going to be sharing your information with them and putting your faith in them to find
you a job, which is a big part of your life, so it’s good to know who you’re working with.
You can research the company online quite easily these days. Look for reviews of the
company and stories of other people who have worked with them.
Research the Placement Company
The other research you should be doing is to research the company you’ll be working for, or
the place that the recruitment company has a role for.
There’s more to the job than the amount you get paid and the job title. Research the company
before you submit your resume for an open role.
Some of the things you might want to find out are:
- What their culture is like
- Are they growing as a company
- How they make their money
- What their customers think of them
- What the career path is for this role
The career path for a role is important, as you will probably want to advance in your career.
Knowing what the job may lead to and what the options are is important. A post I wrote on
finding the path to your ideal job shows that it’s good to know where you’re going in your
If you don’t know the name of the company, then ask the recruiter. They should be able to tell
you more than just a “major bank in the city”. A name is essential.
Find Out the Salary
Another point of research you should do is to find out the salary of the role being offered.
The recruiter should know this as they are the one who got told about the role’s availability.
If they tell you what the salary or the rate is for the role, then that’s great. You have your
If they don’t tell you, or if they don’t know, then ask them to find out. Whether we like it or
not, the salary is an important part of the role, and can help us make our decision.
When working with a technical recruiter, it’s a good idea to discuss your salary requirements
with them. Let them know the kind of salary you’re expecting. This can help them find more
appropriate roles for you, which is a better use of everyone’s time.
Respond Even If You’re Not Interested
If you choose to work with a technical recruiter, then they will be working to find you a job
from the companies that they are in contact with. They will often send you a job and see if
you are interested in it.
Because you’re working with the recruiter, you’re probably going to respond to them to tell
them what you think, as it moves the process along quicker.
But what if you’re not working with a technical recruiter yet?
I’ve been contacted many times by recruiters about jobs they have. This is mostly over
LinkedIn. Most of the time, the job descriptions seem like a good fit. They align with what I
want to do with my career and are in the same country.
It can be tempting to ignore these messages, especially on LinkedIn, where it’s easier to find
However, I suggest responding to the recruiter, even if you’re not interested. This lets them
know that you’re not interested in other roles at the moment. Or, if you want to find out more,
you can ask for more information.
If you’re not interested in the role, it’s good to respond to them, as it can start building up a
professional relationship. You may need a recruiter in the future if you’re looking for a new
In summary, working with a technical recruiter can be a great idea and a good way to
improve your job searching process. There are a few things you can do to make the process
easier on both yourself and the recruiter.
Written by Ben Brumm, founder of Complete IT Professional, which provides career advice
to software developers.