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How to Get the Most from Working with a Recruiter

Why spend your time looking for work if you don’t have to? With a few tweaks to your online presence, you can make it easier for recruiters to do the looking for you and spend more time doing the work you love.

Before we jump in, know that recruiters come in two main flavors: agencies who employ recruiters to find jobs for other companies, and in-house recruiters who are employed by a company to find jobs only for their company. Our tips work for both kinds.

LinkedIn — Need We Say More?

It’s the social network for professionals. Recruiters hang out here. You should hang out here, too. It’s not the only way to meet recruiters, but you’re definitely missing out on potential work if you’re not. Thoroughly fill out and update your profile, often. Use results-oriented bullet points that show your impact on the company, not just a list of duties.  And don’t forget to link it to companies, coworkers, and skills. The way LinkedIn indexes your resume makes it a lot easier for recruiters to find you than a normal PDF or text document sitting on your website or job board. After that, you can make yourself stand out by staying active, reposting articles, and joining professional groups. For more tips, check out our article on finding work through LinkedIn.

Get Social

Most recruiters post jobs on Twitter or other social media. Following recruiters you already work with or would like to work with is a good idea if you’re looking for jobs or projects. If you want to get the attention of a specific recruiter (e.g. a recruiter for Apple’s marketing department), try reposting and driving referrals to their openings. Occasionally interacting with a recruiter on social media can create name recognition and you never know when that will come in handy. Just make sure you’re doing it in a positive upbeat way and not too frequently. The positive ones really stand out!

Review your own social media presence. For example, if you have a public Instagram account, make sure there isn’t anything too controversial in your feed. A recruiter is staking their own reputation on the people they refer, and keeping a clean profile helps them advocate for your professionalism. We’re not suggesting you can’t be political, but make sure you don’t look like a troll. When in doubt, just set your profile to private or delete the potentially objectionable posts. 

Make your portfolio an SEO magnet

Your Portfolio = SEO Magnet

Let’s assume you already have a website portfolio. When was the last time you updated your bio? If you can’t remember, it’s been too long. A good bio is up-to-date and loaded with clear keywords and phrases like, “8 years experience” and “digital marketing.” It doesn’t mean you have to lose all personality and sound like a robot, but recruiters use specialized tools for finding potential clients, so padding your bio with a little jargon makes it easier to find you and understand you.

Besides crafting a solid bio, be sure to properly tag and title your work and write thorough project descriptions. These descriptions can truly set you apart because most people just don’t bother. You’d be surprised how frequently in-house recruiters will search for the people who have worked with the brands they’re competing against. For example, if you’re a graphic designer with a properly titled and tagged SoulCycle project listed in your portfolio, you might show up in the top 10 results when a recruiter from Peloton Googles “SoulCycle graphic designer.”

Know Thyself

One of the first questions a recruiter will ask you is, “What are you looking for?” If you’re unemployed, it’s tempting to answer, “Literally anything,” but casting too wide of a net makes it difficult for the recruiter to match you with jobs you’re qualified for AND interested in. The more specific, the better. Here’s an example: 

“While I have 8 years of print graphic design experience, my ideal job would give me an opportunity to work on web design projects. I like working at larger companies that have other graphic designers so I have someone to bounce ideas off and learn from.”

You can still be flexible in the projects you accept, but having a specific answer also makes it easier to respond to recruiter inquiries. After following these tips, you’re going to start getting weekly job offers landing in your inbox. When you get an inquiry you’re not interested in, offer to refer them to someone else you know who might be a better fit and let them know what kind of work you are looking for. Trust us - they’ll LOVE the gesture and be more likely to reach out when they find a project that matches your interests.

Keep in touch with your recruiter

Keep in Touch

Even after a recruiter has helped you land a job, stay in contact with them. It’s as easy as sending a thank you email a few months later, or randomly referring them to someone you know who’s looking for work. Putting in even a little work to develop a relationship with a good recruiter can make them a career-long advocate for you, finding projects to fill gaps in your workload and giving you professional advice to be the most attractive candidate possible.

Artisan has dozens of recruiters all over the country that help talented freelancers find great projects and jobs. When you’re finished putting the final touches on your SEO-rich bio, reach out!

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