Ah, recruiters. You know, the people who help decide your fate during your job search? While recruiters are sometimes depicted as evil or money-hungry in the job-search world, they really just get a bad rep. In reality, recruiters have the tough task of finding the best candidate for each open position – and then hoping that candidate doesn’t screw up and embarrass them. And while it’s easy to think that working with job recruiters is a necessary part of your search, it’s important to remember that they’re really great resources to tap both now and in the future!

Of course, recruiters aren’t going to come out tell you all the juicy secrets you need to know in order to get hired, that’s not their job! However, in order to help you get a step up in the job search game, we’ve collected six secrets that recruiters want you to know, but don’t (or can’t) necessarily tell you. Ready to get into the head of a recruiter? Check the secrets out below.

1. They probably don’t decide if you get hired

While they often have some influence on which candidate is hired, chances are your recruiter isn’t determining the outcome of the hiring process – that’s what hiring managers are for. That being said, it would be naive to assume that recruiters and hiring managers don’t talk, so it’s important to treat recruiters as if they’re the ones making the final decision. Believe us, email spamming or rudeness will be reported to those in charge, and it will cost you the job. So treat your recruiter with the respect they deserve!

2. They know the company inside and out

As mentioned, recruiters almost always have some type of professional relationship with hiring managers, so they know what’s up. Therefore, by establishing a strong connection with your recruiter, you may be more likely to get access to insider information. If you show a recruiter respect and make their job easy, they’re more likely to respond to your request for advice the week before that big interview. Just don’t forget to thank them, regardless of the outcome.

3. They salary they offer you isn’t the highest they can go

When offering a position to a candidate, recruiters are given a range of salaries that they must aim between. While it’s in their best interest to aim higher if they get a percentage commission, they will likely start with the lowest possible offer in order to seal the deal. For this reason, negotiating your salary is a must. Just make sure to do your research beforehand to make sure you know what you should be getting paid. Remember, there’s always a cap.

4. The job you’re applying for has already been filled

Yes, it is perfectly legal for companies to post job “openings” for positions that have already been filled by inside employees. So don’t freak out if you don’t get a request to interview for that position you really wanted: it’s not always a reflection of your candidacy.

5. Their job is borders a sales role

No, a recruiter’s “job” is not solely to get you hired. Instead, most recruiters would agree that they work partly as salespeople for their company. Think about it: Recruiters want to find the right candidate just as much as you want to find the right job. So just as much as you want to receive that offer, they want you to accept it! The recruiter’s main job is to convince you that the job at hand (and offer) is the best one you could possibly take. And although they are usually very honest, it’s important to check websites like Glassdoor to be sure that the company culture is really as great as your recruiter claims.

6. You’re doing better than you think

Here’s the thing: yes, your resume is just one in the 500 of applications a recruiter will receive, but if you’ve gotten in touch with a recruiter, you’re no longer just 1 in 500. In fact, recruiters contact less candidates than many job searchers realize, so once you’ve gotten the initial email, give yourself a pat on the back – you’re one of the top applicants!

Ready to get that email and realize how awesome you are? Click here to download Rake and get your resume in a recruiter’s pile ASAP.


Also published on Medium.