Working with third-party recruiters. Do’s and Don’ts.

December 21, 2022
Josh Forman


If you’re looking for a new job, chances are that you’ve considered working with a recruiter. After all, it’s much easier to focus on your real goal when someone else is sending out your resume and scheduling interviews. But working with third-party recruiters can be tricky: they have their own goals, but they also have yours in mind. That’s where most people go wrong—they don’t understand what motivates their recruiter and how best to work together in order to meet everyone’s needs.

So I’ve compiled this list of Dos and Don’ts for anyone considering working with a third-party recruiter:

Do your own homework

The first step in working with a recruiter is to do your own homework. Recruiters can be a great resource for finding the right candidates, but it’s important that you take the time to research them and their track records before engaging them in any way. Here are some tips:

  • Research the firm and its track record. Do they have a good reputation? How long have they been in business? How many employees work at the firm? Are they affiliated with any professional organizations or networks?
  • Check out their website. Take a look at what kind of information is provided on their site—does it seem well-organized or clunky? Is there an abundance of content (good sign) or not enough (bad sign)?
  • Look at their LinkedIn profile(s). Does this person seem like someone who would be helpful for your company’s needs, based on his/her education and career history as listed on LinkedIn? If so, then proceed; if not, keep looking!
  • Ask for references from former clients who used this recruiter’s services recently—and make sure those clients aren’t related by family! Asking about past placements is also important because it will help determine whether or not this recruiter is able to deliver results…and whether he/she has experience placing candidates according to job requirements

Don’t forget to ask questions

Asking questions is important. How else will you know if the person who referred you is any good? You should ask about their experience, what they’ve done in the past, their client list (if they have one), their process, and fees.

You want to know what results they can produce for your company. Don’t be afraid to ask these questions! Just because someone is a third-party recruiter does not mean that he or she is some kind of hack looking for easy money. Of course, there are those kinds of people out there; but the good ones will be able to prove it very quickly by showing off some of their results on paper or through personal anecdotes about how well things went when working with other companies like yours before (and believe me—you’ll want this).

Be transparent and honest

It’s important to be transparent and honest with recruiters so they can find the right opportunity for you. They can help you with your resume and cover letter, but it’s essential that they understand what you want to do, how much experience you have in the field and any concerns that might be preventing you from taking on a new role. And remember: if your availability changes—e.g., if a contract ends earlier than expected—be sure to let them know immediately!

Make sure to keep your recruiter on their toes!

As a candidate, you need to keep your search fresh and exciting. Keep your recruiter on their toes; if they don’t feel like they have to give 110 percent of their time and attention to you, then you might as well be working with another recruiter who can!

For example: If a few weeks pass without hearing back from an employer about the status of an application or interview invite, send them a quick email asking if they’d like some additional information. They may have forgotten who sent them the resume or what position it was for! It’s amazing how many recruiters will tell me that they prefer candidates who are proactive in getting back in touch with them when things get quiet—it shows that you care about your job search.


The takeaway from this is that third-party recruiters are a great way to find a job, but it’s important to remember that someone else has to do the work. And if you’re going to pay someone else to do the work for you, then you should be in control of the process. Make sure you only work with the best. Excelon is proud to have made the list of top staffing agencies, as selected by ResumeSpice’s team of executive resume writers.

If working with third-party recruiters isn’t right for your situation then there’s no shame in using other methods such as putting out your own feelers, following up on leads, or even just applying directly through an employer’s website (if they allow it).


When it comes to working with third-party recruiters, it’s important that you do your homework and ask questions before signing on. You should also make sure to keep your recruiter on their toes by being transparent and honest about what you want, so they can best serve your needs as well. These tips will help ensure that both sides are happy with the relationship!