5 Ways to Find The Right Recruiter for Your Job Search

Find the Right RecruiterWhen job or internship searching, do you spend most of your time looking for openings on job boards? Sending off dozens of applications?

That’s so 2004! No one does the job board thing anymore!

All the cool kids are using their network to get referrals for jobs that aren’t on job boards, and the coolest of the cool kids don’t just stop with people they know — they reach out and network with recruiters. But hold on, Tiger.

Don’t go firing off emails to every recruiter you come across. You have to find the right kind of recruiter for you. Here’s how:

1. Check Your Network

First the obvious: use your existing network!

Reach out through LinkedIn, emails, or however you stay in touch with your contacts. Focus first on those in or who serve your industry or niche; they will have dealt with companies and employers in your industry and can help guide you through the hiring process. See who has dealt with recruiters, or knows someone who has, and write down anyone who gets positive reviews.

2. Network on Niche Job Boards

You might be thinking, “He just poked fun at job boards, and now he’s saying they’re useful?” Yes. Yes I am.

Good niche job boards have two advantages over larger, more general job boards like Monster and Indeed:

  1. Job postings might mention a recruiter or recruiting firm by name, so you can research and contact them.
  2. They often have an established community of professionals in your industry, with whom you can communicate and build your network.

3. Find Recruiters on Twitter

Twitter has become a fantastic resource for both job seekers and recruiters. Many job seekers report they use Twitter to find recruiters in their niche and engage.

In the search bar, type something like “accounting recruiter” or “IT recruiter” to find recruiters who specialize in an industry or specific job. On the left side of the results page, click on “people” to narrow the search so you only find actual recruiters.

Another resource is Followerwonk.com, where you can perform the same type of search as on Twitter, but narrowed by location.

Check each person’s Twitter profile for links to a personal website or recruiting firm’s site. Recruiters you find this way will be similar to those you find on niche job boards — you’ll need to do some research on them to see if they serve your niche, have good reputations, etc.

4. Find Recruiters with Boolean Strings

Here’s a new twist on an old trick: A lot of recruiters use Boolean strings to find candidates through Google, job boards, or social media sites such as LinkedIn. You can use the same method to find recruiters!

You can use strings to search for recruiters on specific sites, such as LinkedIn. On Google, search something like the following:

site:linkedin.com “marketing recruiter” AND San Francisco –inurl:dir

Here’s that string broken down:

  • site: restricts the results to what it can find ONLY in that website, which was LinkedIn in the above example
  • “Marketing recruiter” restricts results to pages that contain the exact phrase within the quotation marks
  • AND San Francisco further restricts results to the phrase in quotes that also have the location somewhere on the page
  • -inurl:dir removes any results that go to directories, which won’t be useful for you

Substitute your job category and location (or desired work location) and use this formula and commands to find local recruiters in your career field.

5. Reach Out (and Be Courteous!)

Once you’ve made a list that contains all your potential recruiters, refine it to a handful of recruiters that seem best for you and your goals. Then reach out to them while you keep in mind a few important things:

  • They have to maintain a good relationship with employers, not you specifically
  • They’re knowledgeable about your niche, so they can give valuable advice; be willing to listen
  • Having a good relationship with recruiters will help your career for years
  • Staying in contact with them helps keep your relationship strong
  • Whatever help or advice they give you, be grateful both by saying thank you and by referring other clients to them

The last thing to remember is that these tips should not be the only method you use for finding a job. Your job search should be diversified and must include local networking events, Twitter chats, LinkedIn Groups, and even those old-school job boards.

Recruiters, however, should be at the top of your list, and depending on your career goals should be where a great deal of your job searching time is spent. After all, they know about not only the jobs that are available and the companies that are hiring… they know other recruiters.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brazen Careerist!



About the Author: Brian Stewart is a career content writer at ResumeTarget.com. They are the only resume writing company that offers a professionally written resume coupled with the guidance of recruiters to guarantee that your resume will get results.


Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.



This entry was posted in Career Advice, Job Search, Networking and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.