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How To Win Over A Recruiter

  • 5 min read

So, you’re looking for a job? Join the queue mate. Literally! You know there’s a boat-load of people, just like you, looking for a job but these days, it’s far and few between that the person you’ll be working for is actually in charge of the initial process of getting you in the door. So how do you go about getting them to work best for you? Read on for our top tips on how to win over a recruiter…

Consider the below figures recently released by the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics)… 

6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, July 2020

In July 2020, there were over 1 million unemployed Australians. This number’s been on a steady increase for months. So much so, that it’s predicted we’ll hit double-digit unemployment figures by the end of the year.

With this in mind, it’s safe to say that the balance of power has tipped towards employers. And recruiters, being the gatekeeper to your initial employment success, need to be approached in a particular way. Without further adieu, here are 4 insights on how to win over a recruiter.


Whether you’re dealing with an internal recruiter, an agency recruiter or directly with a hiring manager, do not stalk them! Know the difference between looking them up and adding them on LinkedIn (this is acceptable and encouraged) versus incessantly trying to make contact with them (this is not).

Pretty much all office phones and mobiles identify the caller’s number and they know it’s you. Do not call 5 times without leaving a message. Instead, call once, if you can’t get through to speak with someone, leave a message. The recruiter will call you back. Be mindful that you are not the only candidate, they will have meetings, interviews and many other phone calls to follow-up on.


Recruiter know better than anyone that job hunting is like having a second job. They also know you’re trying to work around your work hours. Good recruiters are flexible and will make time early in the morning or stay late to accomodate their candidates restrictions. Even so, be mindful they have families as well. Often, they have specific time frames for interviews but can sometimes accommodate you outside of this schedule. This is not a given though, so don’t expect it. Their time is spent making 100’s of client and candidate calls a day, it’s best to assume a recruiter is pretty time-poor.


With agency recruiters especially, be honest, tell them what you like about a job and what you don’t. Be clear about what type of team and manager you want to work with. Be completely transparent about your salary expectations. If you’re not clear and honest about this stuff, they’ll put you forward for roles that you don’t want or pay too little and then, when you turn the role down, they look like they have no idea what they’re doing. This will not give the recruiter any incentive to put you forward for another position. Remember: one of the key functions of a 3rd party recruiter is to find the best candidate who’s most suitable for the job. If you’re not clear with them, they can’t do this.


Do not lie. Ever! You will get caught out. No dodgy references. Don’t fudge it when it comes to your qualifications, education or experience. A good recruiter knows the market and often they’re a specialist in the industry you’re looking to find a job in. Be honest about your current salary and expectations – they know what your experience is worth and are well trained to read between the lines. They’ll be able to give you feedback on how your salary expectations might be received in the marketplace and guide you to increase or reduce accordingly. Remember to also be honest about what other interviews or opportunities you have in the pipeline. This can actually work in your favour, especially if you’re a hot candidate. But NOT mentioning your other job seeker activity is not worth it in the long run. There’s a high chance the employer and recruiter will work it out and it will most likely put a cross against your name for future opportunities just for not being up-front about it.

In the end, it’s mostly about remembering that a recruiter is there to help you and that they’re a human being (hopefully) just trying to do the best they can. Have some patience, mindfulness and gratitude and not only will you win over that recruiter but they’ll really value your approach in understanding what they do.