It’s true, a Recruiter isn’t a Hiring Manager. They aren’t directly connected to the role they’re hiring for, and, sometimes, they don’t work at the organization you’re targeting.

However, here’s what’s important to keep in mind: your recruiter is your gateway to employment. They might not make the final hiring decision, but they have the power to champion your application, keep you up to date on the opportunities available to you, and ultimately, find you a job.

A major mistake that I see job seekers make is that they don’t spend time building rapport with the recruiters they’re working with or reaching out to. Not making an effort to get to know your recruiter is easy, but on the flip side, this means they also won’t know about you. So, they won’t know that you’re a good candidate, an accomplished professional, or even how they can help you in the future.

Here are three reasons why building rapport is critical to your job search success:

1. It creates trust.

I can’t tell you how many messages I get from job seekers who bluntly ask me to find them a job. As a recruiter, I don’t work for job seekers, I work for the organizations who I’m sourcing talent for. This means that I can’t ‘find you a job’ unless I’m recruiting in your industry, profession, and for your target organizations.

First things first, do your best to connect with recruiters through your personal network. If your friend knows a great recruiter who focuses on your profession and industry, ask for an introduction. Avoid requesting help for finding a job in your first outreach message. Instead, highlight how you heard of this recruiter, acknowledge their accomplishments in their industry, and close with an ask for a brief phone interview.

2. It makes your ask for help less awkward.

Most outreach messages that I get from job seekers are absolutely cringe-worthy. This is because they ask for help right off the bat without even knowing who I am or what I do. Not only does this make me uncomfortable, it also feels awkward to send this type of message in the first place. Avoid this whole mess entirely by only asking for help after you’ve done your preliminary outreach and you know who you’re talking to.

3. It helps you develop a relationship you can draw on in the future.

Recruiters can be incredibly valuable assets to have in your network. Once they know who you are and what you do, they can keep you in mind when future positions open that match with your career. The more they know about your past experience, the easier it will be for them to help you later on.

What do you want to know about reaching out to recruiters? Let me know in the comments section!