When choosing which recruiter or recruiters you should use to assist you with your job search, it is important that you do your due diligence before committing. Finding the right recruiter to fit your personality should not be work, but if you do not choose wisely, your decision could have long term implications on your career. Like many things, there are good recruiters and bad recruiters out there. The question is: how do you tell the difference?
In order to find a recruiter who is looking out for your best interests and not just for their next paycheck, there are a few things to consider. The first thing you want to look at is: does this recruiter specialize in my field? There are as many recruiters out there as there are jobs so it is important to find one who works in your particular field. If you are in the IT world, you would want someone who is tech savvy and knows the type of technology you are dealing with. Ask your recruiter what areas they specialize in and see if they line up with your skill set.
The next thing to think about is: should I trust this person? Many recruiters will get so excited by a good resume that they will not dot their i’s and cross their t’s. You need to take them time to meet with your recruiter whenever possible, and be sure that your recruiter takes the time to get to know you and what you are looking for in your next position. If a recruiter simply wants to send your resume out without taking the time to understand what you want, chances are they are just looking to make a quick buck. Be sure to emphasize that you do not want your resume sent ANYWHERE without your permission. If your resume gets sent to an employer without your knowledge this can hurt you in the long run if you go to apply to that company later on your own or through a recruiter you do like.
Once you have established that your recruiter is trustworthy and specializes in your field, see if that recruiter can provide recommendations. Now, I want to be clear, most recruiters would not appreciate it if you called them asking for a list of references. If instead you ask them where you can find recommendations on them I am sure they will be happy to direct you to their Linkedin profile or website where they should have at least one or more recommendations if they are any good.
I hope this helps you in your search to find a good recruiter.