When Working with Legal Recruiters, Ask These 4 Questions

A recruiter looks at a candidates resume

Legal recruiters can be valuable allies in your job search. But many job seekers aren't sure how to make the most of these relationships. Here are four key questions you should ask legal recruiters before signing on with them:

1. How can I make your job easier?

Quite simply, you need to make yourself easy to represent. So ask legal recruiters what you can do to make yourself a top candidate for placement. Yes, it's a broad, open-ended question but one that should give you insight into how they prefer to work with candidates to yield the best results.

2. What is my role?

Contrary to what some may think, candidates shouldn't expect to show up and have recruiters pull the ideal position out of their database on the spot. It can take some time to find the right role for each person.

Although legal recruiters are continually looking for new opportunities for the candidates they represent, you should remain an active participant in your job search. Make it a point to review notifications of new job listings from the staffing firm. You might see a position that interests you that your recruiter has not yet considered.

By staying informed about hiring trends and current salary levels in the legal field and checking in regularly with your recruiter, you'll show that you're serious about working together to find a new position.

3. Can you evaluate my marketability?

Insist on an honest assessment of your strength as a candidate, which most legal recruiters are more than happy to give. Keep in mind that legal recruiters work with candidates and employers every day and have an insider's view of the legal job market that can often significantly supplement what you've discovered on your own. Trust their judgment and consider acting on their suggestions. For instance, if they tell you that your salary expectations are too high or that your resume needs to be revamped, trust that they know what they're talking about.

4. How should we stay in touch?

Clarify communication expectations and preferences at the start of the relationship. Should you contact the legal recruiter on a regular basis, or will he or she reach out to you as necessary? It's important to update your recruiter about major developments in your job search and return emails and phone calls promptly, but daily contact is not usually necessary.

Remember that the recruiter has a vested interest in ensuring an all-around good fit. So have faith in his or her ability and desire to help you find the right opportunity.