In this blog I’m sitting down with an amazing colleague and recruiter Kimberly Wilson, owner of TLR Search.  Kimberly has over 25 years’ experience as a recruiter based in Houston, Texas.  For this short blog post, I’m asking her a question I get asked a lot as a career coach, “How do I approach a recruiter?”

About Kimberly

Kimberly Wilson enjoys helping energy and chemical company hiring managers gain talent market share by bringing strong diverse talent to their attention and guiding them through any unconscious bias during the search process. Kimberly is the Managing Director/CEO of TLR Search, a recruitment firm she started. Kimberly began her career in retail management learning about customer service, people, and business. Taking that experience along with her education in psychology and sociology, she set out to help companies attract the best unique talent to align with their initiatives and to help individuals/candidates to see potential possibilities in their career.

 How do I approach a recruiter?

 When you reach out to recruiters and say “find me a job” it’s important to understand that’s not what recruiters do.  I have people who constantly ask, “I’d love to share my background with you, do you have fifteen minutes to chat with me?”  Okay, would you do that if you were dating someone?  I say that because recruiting is a relationship, just like any other important relationship we have.

The bottom line is that if I had fifteen minutes to share with every person who asks me that, I wouldn’t have work to get for those people who are qualified for it.  My recommendation is reach out to recruiters but be very thoughtful and make it a win-win.

Here’s an example of something that would land much more effectively with a recruiter:

“Hi, I identified your organization as one that is doing work within the same sector I’m focused in.  I’m always open to looking at opportunities (if you’re still employed) or I’m currently looking (if you’re not employed).  I wanted to get on your radar and share my resume.  If there is anything in the future, I’d love to hear from you.  If you feel I could be of service to you and help you network on another opportunity, I’m happy to do so.”

The key is to be of service

The key is to be of service when you are sharing your resume.  What is the value you bring?  Here’s me and how I can create value for one of your clients.  At the end of the day, we don’t market ourselves on the benefits we bring, we market ourselves on the value we bring the client.  And the client when you’re looking for a job is the hiring manager that has posted the job.

Then there’s the networking aspect and being able to assist the recruiter. “Here is how I can be of service and help you find candidates for the clients you serve.”

Let’s say a recruiter reaches out to you and you’re not interested.  Take the time to chat and politely decline and think about how you might help them find the right candidate.  Why should you bother?  Okay, you may not have been looking for an opportunity, but one day you might be.  Make it a point to reconnect in the future and keep in touch.  You never know where they might be in a couple of years.  The more people that have you on your radar the better!

Recruiting is a long-term game

What people miss is that recruiting is a long-term game, it’s a relationship, and we don’t just pick it up when we want it.  It’s about cultivating these relationships over time.


Shelley Pernot is a leadership and career coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their strengths and talents and find a career that utilizes them.  Reach out to me here for a free consultation to learn more about the coaching process and how it may benefit you!

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