Shine a Spotlight Series : How to approach recruiters

The following blog is part of Boost HR’s Shine a Spotlight Series, where we are inviting guests to share a blog post that highlights the work they do, the value they bring and to inspire reflection and action. This week our guest is Deren Zaghlul of PACT recruitment.

How to approach recruiters…

Given the world we are living in right now, it has never been more important to have your ducks in order when it comes to the job market, whether you are currently ‘in role’ or perhaps unfortunately find yourself unemployed.

People often think they need the help from a recruiter only when they are actively looking for a new opportunity, but this could not be further from the truth. You should always have one eye on the job market for when that perfect opportunity comes up, or when something comes out of nowhere that has an impact on your job…like a global pandemic!

I have decided to write this blog to give some tips and advice on the best way to approach and work with a recruiter through a recruiter’s eyes (Mine).

So, strap in and let’s get started!

Do your research before making contact…

Before you proactively contact a recruiter make sure you have done your homework and looked into exactly what they specialise in. Candidates see the word “Recruiter” in their job title and instinctively (Or perhaps lazily) automatically assume because they are a Recruiter, they can help them.


Most Recruiters have a specialism that they focus on, mine being Planning | Analytics | C&T | OPEX into Customer Operations for example, so make sure you spend 60 seconds looking into what they do before sending your CV across, as 1 you want to make sure you are targeting the right Recruiter to get the maximum impact and in turn quality job opportunities and 2 you won’t be upset if you don’t get a response if they don’t do what you do!

The best place to start is through word of mouth or referral. Speak to one of your colleagues or someone from your network for recommendations, as you will always feel more comfortable dealing with someone from a trusted source.

If you don’t know anyone another way is to go on to social media like LinkedIn or a job board and type in the type of role you would be interested in and keep an eye out for a recruiter that keeps coming up with roles that sit within your specialism, or even like how they come across in their approach from both a writing and branding perspective. Or thirdly, go on trusty old google and type in the search what you do with “jobs” or “recruitment agencies” and some will come up for sure that way.

We have now identified a wonderful Recruiter who specialises in what we do. What next?

Send your CV in and wait for the phone to ring with lots of roles to discuss that you are the perfect candidate for…


Too many people think they just send the CV in and wait for the Recruiter to contact them.


This is a great way of showing your interest in working with the Recruiter and you are really interested in building a relationship with them and partnering on some great opportunities in the marketplace.

If you just sent a CV you will possible join the other 50 that have sent their CV in that day and can easily end up at the bottom of the pile to be contacted, or even worse not contacted at all!

Make yourself stand out, pick up the phone, introduce yourself, look to set up a call or even better a video call to showcase your skills, it’s all about selling YOU and being at the forefront of the Recruiter’s mind.

I remember meaningful conversations with great talent where I can build rapport and a relationship with a candidate far after the CV that has been sent and uploaded to the database.

Make sure you speak to that Recruiter and introduce yourself off the back of the CV you have just sent in. It goes a long way, and they are the ones that usually leave an impression and make an impact.

I have now introduced myself, told the Recruiter how wonderful I am, what next?

The Recruiter will now do 1 or 2 things usually, discuss a live opportunity they are working on that they think you are a great fit for, or more likely they will end the call with a thanks for all that info and be in touch when something suitable comes in.

2 options here, you can wait for the phone to ring when that recruiter has something, or diarise to have regular catch ups in the interim until something comes in that is worth discussing.

The Recruiter may well proactively suggest doing this and schedule a monthly, quarterly catch up with you and if that’s the case then happy days, but if they don’t, don’t be scared to suggest it or do it for that matter, as it’s all about being at the forefront of the Recruiter’s mind when it comes to that next great opportunity.

Do you want to be the 1st person they call about my dream job or let them call 5 other people before they call me?

Believe you me competition is involved in every part of our lives and a new job opportunity is no less so, so encourage regular dialogue where possible.

So, that’s now taken care of, I have my regular catch up call booked in with the Recruiter/s of choice and now an opportunity comes in and it’s my DREAM opportunity, I interview, smash it out of the park and now I sit back and wait for the phone call asking me when do I start???

But that phone call never arrives. What should I do?

I often hear of candidates complaining about Recruiters both internal and external not coming back to them with feedback, or a term I have become familiar with over the last few months is “GHOSTING”, which is another term for that person falling off of the face of the earth and never to be seen or heard from again. However, often I ask that candidate have you chased the person in question and sometimes they say “no, I haven’t”, which I say pop a call in and find out what the hell is going on. It might just save you a look of anxiety and anguish.

And look this isn’t me saying it’s the candidates fault or nor am I excusing poor communication or candidate experience, however 1 we are all human and people forget or mistakes are made and 2 it shows great proactiveness and interest in the opportunity and let me add a 3 if I might it show’s what type of person you are if you were working in their business.

Being proactive, following up and demonstrating how you engage with them gives them a great insight into how you would be as a future employee, or working with different stakeholders and boy we love the word stakeholder when it comes to the business world, so show them how you do it!

It’s all about balance when it comes to communication and keeping in touch and it’s more of a fine art than you realise, on one hand you want to let people know you are still there and show interest, but on the other you don’t want to come across like a scorned lover who is waiting by the Recruiter’s car every day for feedback.

There is no right or wrong with this, but just a bit of common sense will always prevail.

So there is a bit of insight into how to approach recruiters in today’s world (well, just me) and how not to, but hope some of the above proves useful and if you want to discuss further or interested in me helping you on your journey within the whacky word of the job market then happy to chat through or even better over Video. (Please don’t wait by my car)

And do not forget, be proactive, be engaging, be authentic and most importantly as I always say.

Be You.

Deren Zaghlul, Specialist Recruiter – Planning | Analytics | Change & Transformation | Operational Excellence

Contact Deren by email

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