How To Talk To Recruiters And Grab Your First Job

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You might find that you need to speak with a lot of recruiters and interviewers over the phone before you get the job of your dreams. Some applicants may be apprehensive about calling recruiters and haven’t given much thought to how to make a positive first impression.

The likelihood that a recruiter will recommend you for open positions can be increased by knowing how to communicate with them. Effective communication with recruiters can have a direct impact on your success in the job search, regardless of your professional background. It is a valuable skill to be able to communicate with recruiters, but you may need some research and practice to be successful.

We provide advice on how to talk to a job recruiter effectively and why it’s important to know how to do so in this article.


The primary responsibility of a recruiter is to find and recommend qualified candidates to employers. This indicates that being able to communicate effectively with others is likely to leave a lasting impression. This, in turn, may increase the likelihood that they will recommend you for the position you are interested in or will consider you for similar positions in the future if they believe that particular one does not suit you.

How to talk to a recruiter?

During the job search, a recruiter can be a useful partner. When they talk about candidates with a potential employer, you will be at the top of their list if they like you and believe in your abilities and professionalism. When learning how to talk to a recruiter, take into consideration these ten steps.

As the last line of defense between you and your dream job, recruiters can appear intimidating. However, we guarantee that speaking with a recruiter need not be nerve-wracking, and that if you adhere to a few straightforward guidelines during your conversation, you will soon be saying “hello” to a hiring manager and “goodbye” to the recruiter. Here is how to talk to recruiters:

  1. Perform proper research
  2. Ask the right questions
  3. Don’t overuse keywords
  4. Make a good first impression
  5. Show an appropriate level of interest for the position
  6. Be honest
  7. Be prepared to discuss your resume
  8. Say things that are easy to remember and repeat
  9. Be friendly and positive
  10. Show availability

1. Perform proper research

Usually, the amount of research done before the conversation with a recruiter is crucial to effective communication. You can begin by learning more about the company they represent, including information about their CEO, employee feedback, culture, promotional videos, and mission statement.

You can also get a rough idea of the salary you can anticipate for the position you are applying for by researching salary websites. Knowing more about the company you want to work for can give you more topics to talk about and give the impression of being well-prepared and knowledgeable.

2. Ask the right questions

Even though the recruiter is usually the one asking the most questions, you can demonstrate your knowledge of the company and the position by asking questions based on previous research. Some questions that are generally appropriate are:

  • What are the company’s main values?
  • What personal and professional traits do they look for in an employee? 
  • What characteristics do you look for in employees in order to represent those values?
  • What do the day-to-day responsibilities of the role look like?
  • What does a typical day look like for this role?
  • What do you consider the best part about working for this company?
  • What’s your favorite part about working at the company?
  • What future opportunities for professional advancement would the role offer?
  • What are the main challenges of this role?
  • What does success look like in this position, and how do you measure it?
  • Who will I report to daily?
  • Is there anything on my resume that makes you doubt I would be successful in this position?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development?  If so, what do those look like?
  • Who will I be working most closely with?
  • What do you see as the most challenging aspect of this job?
  • Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role?

3. Don’t overuse keywords

When writing resumes and cover letters, it’s helpful to look up the job posting and the hiring company to find relevant keywords. However, rather than using keywords, try to talk more naturally when you meet with a recruiter face-to-face.

For instance, rather than stating that you are a fast learner or that you can multitask, describe your capabilities if some of the keywords in the advertisement are “ability to multitask” or “fast learner.” The recruiter may gain a better understanding of your work ethic and your authenticity by expounding on keywords.

Naturally, you will use keywords in your resume, and you should also use them in person when speaking with a recruiter. However, do not overdo it. While it is smart to appear knowledgeable about your industry, you should avoid appearing smarter than you are. Authenticity is essential. Recruiters value your personality more than your capacity to articulate concepts like “synergy” and “ROI.”

Experts say words like “hardworking,” “quick learner,” and “self-motivated” can turn off recruiters. These are commonplace expressions that have no real significance. According to Aurora Meneghello, a career coach who is also the founder of Repurpose Your Purpose, “They don’t describe what makes you special, or even whether you are a good fit for the company.”

“Practice telling a brief, specific story that demonstrates how you worked hard or learned quickly rather than using those terms. Meneghello asserts, “Personal, pertinent anecdotes will set you apart from the majority of candidates and may be the most memorable part of your interview.”

4. Make a good first impression

A good first impression is likely to increase your chances of having a productive conversation, just like it is the case with most other interactions. This can be accomplished by returning phone calls and emails promptly, arriving on time, acting professionally, and presenting an air of confidence.

Other ways to make a good first impression include contacting the recruiter in advance if you are interested in a position they are hiring for. This not only saves the recruiter time but also demonstrates that you are serious about your intentions.

Your mom was correct: Everything starts with first impressions. It’s rare for recruiters to overcome a negative first impression. But there’s no pressure.) Your chances of progressing to the next round will be harmed by unprofessional behavior, awkward interviews, and unanswered phone calls. Therefore, ensure that you are at your best the first time you meet a recruiter and every time thereafter. Because if you make one mistake, you might not get to the next one.

Reaching out directly to a recruiter is one way to impress them. April Klimkiewicz, a career coach and owner of bliss evolution, states, “The most important thing you’re trying to do in reaching out to a company recruiter is getting them to like you and consider you further for the position.” Being polite, kind, enthusiastic about the position, and respectful of the recruiter’s time are all guaranteed ways to get on the recruiter’s good side.

You may also want to gather information and have questions. However, this should be secondary to being polite, kind, respectful of the recruiter’s time. In addition, making a personal connection with a recruiter can help you stand out from the hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of other applicants competing for the same position.

Reaching out to a recruiter might at first seem odd, but you shouldn’t be afraid to do so. You really are helping them out.

Think of yourself as assisting the recruiter in their work if you are apprehensive about contacting them. Reaching out can help you stand out from other applicants and assist the recruiter in filling the position sooner if you are a great candidate, as Klimkiewicz points out.

Make friendly small talk to establish rapport and make a good first impression. Recruiters will pick up on your upbeat attitude if you smile when you talk to them. Using their first name also demonstrates your interest in them. Your delivery may be affected by your posture, so make sure you have it right. Maintain a cooperative, upbeat, and upbeat conversational tone.

Avoid negative remarks, particularly regarding previous employers. Be prepared to discuss your reasons for leaving your previous employer in a positive manner, such as “I was seeking a more upwardly mobile opportunity,” as opposed to “I hated my job and found it really boring,” as this may be misinterpreted as evidence that you were not the most proactive employee.

5. Show an appropriate level of interest for the position

To demonstrate that you are self-assured and eager to land the position, it is essential to strike a balance between enthusiasm and confidence. This balance may assist you throughout the hiring process by attracting and retaining the recruiter’s attention.

In most cases, salary negotiations can be approached using the same strategy. Most of the time, recruiters expect you to negotiate your salary based on your qualifications. Asking for the right amount can help you appear confident in your abilities.

Do your homework and learn about the company in advance, and be prepared to discuss the position. Make sure you can highlight any transferable skills you have brought from previous employers and are familiar with the skills and credentials that are required.

Know what you are willing to accept and the salary level of a similar position. Learn as much as you can about the responsibilities of the job and where this career path might lead. Allow them to speak first, and do not interrupt by asking questions at the end of the conversation.

6. Be honest

The recruiter can represent you while serving the clients they find candidates for. Since many recruiters are paid a commission for placing candidates, they want to make sure you get the right job that fits your skills. Being open and honest with the recruiter about your strengths and weaknesses can help them find you jobs that are right for you and build trust.

7. Be prepared to discuss your resume

When you talk to a recruiter, your resume is usually the main topic of conversation. Be ready to properly explain each section of your resume. When discussing your prior employment experiences, make sure to include transferable skills that are connected to the position for which you are applying.

For instance, if the position you’re applying for requires you to be proactive, you could talk about times when you were proactive in the workplace in the past. Also, tell hiring managers and recruiters about any significant gaps in your employment history to help them understand your career path. You could also write a cover letter that explains the omissions.

8. Say things that are easy to remember and repeat

It is essential to keep in mind that, despite the fact that your primary objective is to persuade the recruiter that you are suitable for a particular position, the hiring manager is ultimately in charge of hiring you for that position. When you talk about your skills, personal goals, education, and other relevant qualities, try to say them in a way that makes it easier for the recruiter to say them over and over again when they talk to the hiring manager.

9. Be friendly and positive

Maintaining a friendly demeanor throughout a professional conversation with a recruiter is essential. To demonstrate how you would behave and speak in a workplace, speak to the recruiter in a calm and pleasant manner.

Being upbeat is also helpful, even when talking about negative experiences. For instance, rather than criticizing the company or its employees, you should emphasize the lessons learned when discussing an unpleasant work experience.

10. Show availability

Respecting the recruiter’s time, try to accommodate their schedule. You can also stay away from situations in which they are too busy to properly evaluate you. Be open to any potential requests from the recruiter, such as additional resume information, a customized cover letter for a specific job, or a phone call to discuss various career areas. Also, be flexible with your schedule.

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