If you’re ready for your next career opportunity, working with a professional recruiter can make your prospects for success more likely. In this blog post we’ll look at the benefits of working with recruiters and the role they play in the job search process.

Retained by hiring managers, a recruiter’s number one goal is to get you hired. Until that happens they’ll do their best to educate you, prepare you, and coach you through all aspects of the interviewing and hiring process. A recruiter’s services are free to job seekers, with placement fees paid by the employer only if a candidate is hired.

Recruiters are highly motivated to find the very best person for a position and ensure that he or she gets the job. To that end, recruiters provide candidates with no-cost advantages such as strategic career guidance, history on the company and job you’re interviewing for, detailed resume analysis, and suggestions on navigating the interview process.

Another benefit offered by recruiters is access to unpublished or hidden jobs not yet posted. Some companies, particularly in technology, prefer to keep some of their prized job openings out of view to the general public. Strong recruiters know about these positions. In addition, seasoned recruiters have dozens or even hundreds of industry contacts in your field.

If you don’t get the first position you interview for, your recruiter will likely have a few more in mind or know of several that will open up in the future.  And because of their knowledge about trends in your field and in your market, recruiters can provide valuable insights such as how much you should or could be earning, professional must-have skills, and background on a company’s culture.

If you match the qualifications of a job the recruiter is working on, you are automatically in a smaller pool of candidates. Your recruiter will likely know the human resources or hiring manager directly, which will help you get noticed among the stack of 200 resumes submitted. Letting a recruiter do the legwork for you and become your advocate significantly increases your chances of being selected for an interview.

Once you land an interview, recruiters will help you prepare. Your recruiter should know about the expected skills and intangibles that the hiring manager desires in a candidate, as well as the specific questions and topics your interviewers will want to discuss.

One last important point: while a recruiter’s job is to find the right people for open positions, it’s up to you to own your job search.  Building a relationship with a recruiter and working together to achieve your mutual goals is a great way to land your next great career opportunity.