3 tips for job seeking success when working with a recruiter

By Robert Half on 25 May 2023
Estimated Read Time: 4 minutes

When it comes to finding the perfect job, going it alone can be tough. For jobseekers in Singapore, spending hours each day searching through listings and researching companies is not uncommon. This can quickly become tedious, especially if you’re struggling to find anything suitable.

The good news is that working with a recruiter can be a game changer. The insights, advice and expert guidance they provide can save you an incredible amount of time, while also opening the door to new pathways that can launch your dream career. What’s more, they often have access to job postings that are not publicly listed, which gives you a definite advantage.

When partnering with a recruitment agency, there are some key aspects that can really help you maximise and fast track your results. So, in this article we’re sharing our top tips for job seeking success when working with a recruiter.

What exactly does a recruiter do?

Recruitment agencies are external organisations hired by companies to find the top candidates that best suit their vacancies. Not only do they have an understanding of the needs and objectives of the business, they also have access to a large pool of skilled talent, which allows them to narrow the field and put forward only the candidates that are an ideal fit for the role.

When working with job seekers, a quality recruiter will take the time to understand their background, skills and ultimate career goals. With an intimate knowledge of the industry and local Singapore job market, they’ll help you pinpoint the right position that can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career.

How to work with a recruiter on your job hunt

Success when working with a recruiter comes down to finding a person you can connect with and who shares your goal of finding a position that matches your talents within an organisation that embodies your values. For this to happen, it’s essential to find a recruitment agency that brings humanity and empathy to your job search, as well as expertise. If you feel you are being put forward for roles that are not a good fit, or are not getting the support you need, don’t be afraid to cut ties.

For a successful outcome, you need to have a recruiter on your team that understands your talents and knows where you want to go. Once you’ve found the right fit, there are some key elements that you need to bring to the table to allow them to do their best work. Based on our extensive experience, we’ve put together 5 tips on how to work with a recruiter on your job hunt.

Tip #1: Be clear on your goals

While a recruiter can certainly offer advice and guidance that will help you shape your future career direction, for them to do this well it is essential to be clear on your short-term and long-term goals. Whether you have a vision of the perfect job already in mind, or have some key boxes your next position needs to tick, write it all down and share this with your recruiter in your first meeting.

Related: Check out our expert career advice

Tip #2: Be ultra prepared

To secure your ideal position in the highly competitive Singapore job market, preparation is key. To be job ready, you’ll ideally have your essential employment documents prepared and up to date. This includes a basic cover letter and resume, ready to be adjusted as needed when you apply, plus a list references with current contact details. Additionally, being mentally prepared is a must. Having everything in order and demonstrating the right mindset allows you to put your best foot forward with your recruiter from the start.

Related: 10 tech buzzwords to avoid on your resume

Tip #3: Be honest and open

Honest and open communication is at the heart of all successful partnerships, and this is certainly true when working with a recruiter. Don’t hold back when it comes to sharing your expectations and goals around where you see yourself now and in the future as your recruiter is playing a key part in bringing those dreams and visions to life.

One area where many job seekers struggle is in sharing their past remuneration and defining their salary expectations moving forward. Your recruiter has a broad and intimate knowledge of the pay scales for your industry dependent on experience, and will be looking for a figure that is fair and a good fit for you and the company. Transparency and honesty is critical to allow them to do their job well and fulfil the ultimate goal of finding the ideal job in the ideal place.

Related: Here's why lying about your salary may backfire

Other tips suggested by our recruiters

Serene Tan Division Director and specialised finance and accounting recruiter at Robert Half has also shared her tips on the best ways to work with recruiters:

  • Keep an open mind to the recruiter's suggestions and recommendations, even if they are not exactly what you were looking for. They may have insight or knowledge about a job that you haven't considered.
  • Provide detailed feedback after each interview or job application, including what you liked and didn't like about the opportunity, so that the recruiter can refine their search and provide better recommendations in the future.

Our other finance Division Director Gina Chia says “it will be helpful for candidates to share their interview status with us from the start so that we can manage the interview process efficiently. Another pointer, like Serene said, is to be open to interview feedback and make a conscious effort to improve on interview skills.”

Working with recruiters can be an excellent way to find job opportunities, but it's important to approach the relationship in a professional and effective manner, says Geraldine Hor, Associate Director at Robert Half Singapore. “Be upfront with the recruiter about the type of job you are looking for, your salary expectations, and other relevant factors. This will help the recruiter to match you with suitable job opportunities. Respond to emails and phone calls from recruiters promptly, and make yourself available for interviews and other appointments. This will show the recruiter that you are serious about your job search.”

Common myths about working with recruiters

If you are hesitant to engage the services of a recruitment agency, it may be because you have heard some negative misconceptions circulating about working with recruiters. The truth is like any industry, unfortunately there are good and bad operators. Let’s take a closer look at some of the common misconceptions, sharing how working with quality recruiters will help you avoid a bad experience. For example:

  • Job seekers must pay for recruitment services: As recruiters are compensated by the organisations they work with, working with a recruiter is free for the candidate.
  • Recruiters only care about filling the role: A quality recruiter is always focused on finding candidates the ideal role in the ideal organisation. A fulfilling, long-term position, not a quick fix is their goal.
  • Recruiters specialise in temp and contract roles: Recruiters place candidates in all types of jobs, including permanent full-time and part-time roles, as well as casual and contract positions.

Working with a recruiter opens doors

There’s no doubt that job hunting can be a challenge. However, working with a recruiter gives you the edge you need to find your dream role faster and with less hassle. At Robert Half Singapore, our experienced team can help you find the perfect position. Simply contact us to take the first step today.

More From the Blog...