How to Choose the Right Recruiter: Tips From an Expert

When changing careers, who you know is often just as important as what you know, so it’s a good idea to start building your professional network as early as possible. Industry and networking events are great ways to build connections with others in the tech field by not only granting you direct access to helpful hiring information, but also providing the opportunity to share and discuss relevant industry details that can prove to be extremely helpful in hiring situations.

By choosing Penn Boot Camps, you will have access to a growing Boot Camp Network comprised of thousands of Trilogy Education-powered boot camp alumni from around the globe. These events allow participants to stay in touch, make new connections, stay up to date on new technologies, examine industry trends through the speaker series, and more.

As part of a recent virtual speaker series, Trilogy organized How to Choose the Right Recruiter, an event hosted by Emma Hollister, Consultant Engagement Manager at TEKsystems. Hollister has successfully helped upwards of 40 alumni from Trilogy-powered boot camps find employment.

Here are some key takeaways from the event that can help you choose the right recruiter, develop an effective job search strategy, and better utilize networking in your job search.

About TEKsystems

TEKsystems Global Services is a leading provider of IT staffing, talent management, and services. Each year, they deploy over 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe, and Asia.

The company implements the most comprehensive and Agile approach to full stack technology services using expertise across Cloud Enablement, DevOps & Automation, Digital Experience, Risk & Security, Application Transformation, and Data Analytics & Insights.

These pillars provide the platform for progressive leaders to fuel innovation, elevate the customer experience, save money, and generate new revenue. TEKsystems’ mission is to partner with clients to help them transform and activate ideas and solutions to take advantage of a new world of technological opportunity.

By partnering with Trilogy-powered boot camps, TEKsystems has been able to recruit, train, deploy, and mentor two dozen participants. Partnerships like this allow companies such as TEKsystems to deploy a number of successful learners. In fact, TEKsystems is preparing to extend its relationship with Trilogy-powered boot camps to not only place new alumni but to reskill some of its existing employees as well.

Choosing the Right Recruiter

Hollister began the How to Choose the Right Recruiter virtual event by offering valuable insight into the world of talent recruitment. She talked to attendees in detail about the role of recruiters while answering questions on how to identify the best ones.

1. Who Do Recruiters Work For and How Do I Hire One?

As a job seeker, you don’t hire a recruiter; they work on behalf of a client company to source, recruit, interview, and hire the ideal candidate for a particular role. There are many types of recruiters, and they fall into one of two categories: internal and external.

Internal (also known as in-house) recruiters are employed by the organization they represent, whereas external recruiters work independently and are typically hired by a company on a short-term, long-term, or case-by-case basis.

Many job candidates falsely believe that recruiters take money away from their salary. However, Hollister says this is untrue, revealing that in reality, recruiters already have pre-set negotiations and their job is to ensure that employers find a job within that range.

2. Tips for Protecting Yourself When Working With a Recruiter

Experts say there are many recruitment scams involving imposters who attempt to gain access to private information. Rob Paone, founder of recruiting agency Proof of Talent, says it can even go as far as job seekers being interviewed by fake employers.

Hollister offered a number of tips for starting to work with a recruiter. Start by researching the recruiter and their agency on LinkedIn. If the recruiter’s LinkedIn profile has few connections or does not include complete information, proceed with caution.

You should also pay careful attention to the questions that a recruiter asks. Look for someone who asks questions about your background and your desires. A legitimate recruiter will never ask for sensitive, personal, or financial information.

3. The Difference Between a Recruiter and a Headhunter

It’s important to remember that recruiters and headhunters are not the same thing. Many tend to believe that headhunters are high-quality recruiters, however this is not the case. In reality, headhunters are retained whereas recruiters, for the most part, are not.

The main difference between headhunters and recruiters is their approach to filling jobs. Recruiters will share positions within their network to find interested candidates, while headhunters will actively seek out people who fit the profile regardless.

Headhunters typically specialize in niche areas where they have developed a pipeline of job seekers with skills and experience that are specific to a certain field. Recruiters differ in that they act as talent-finders or matchmakers for companies.

Developing an Effective Job Hunting and Networking Strategy

One typical goal for boot camp participants is finding a job. Whether you are a prospective participant, current participant, or are simply looking for more info on how to be a strong candidate, Hollister has answers to three very common questions.

1. How Do I Market Myself as a Recent Alumni?

If you’re looking for programming-related roles, it is very important to have an up-to-date GitHub, according to Hollister. Try to include employer-targeted code, programming exercises, web development projects, and any recent contributions that you’d like to show off.

Crafting a strong resume is also key to separating yourself from the competition. Remember to tailor your resume for each job, choose a strong format, create achievement-based bullet points, and showcase the skills you’ve gained.

Finally, Hollister emphasizes the importance of networking. While skills and experience are key to any job search, who you know can make a big difference in the long run.

2. How Do I Use Networking in My Job Search?

Start growing your professional network as early as possible. Industry events, support groups, and coaching sessions are all great ways to build connections with others in the tech field.

Take advantage of professional social networks like LinkedIn to connect with tech influencers in the industry. Find and follow people who work in your area so you can join in on conversations and become known in new circles

Hollister also recommends building connections with other boot camp attendees and alumni, since people who have attended boot camps themselves are more likely to hire someone with a boot camp background.

3. How Do I Get a Remote Job?

Today’s uncertain times have sparked new demand for remote work. In what TIME is calling the World’s Largest Work From Home Experiment, remote jobs are growing, but landing one can be challenging: you not only have to show that you’re the best candidate for the job but that you’re also the best remote candidate.

One advantage of attending an online boot camp is that you gain valuable remote work experience. Hollister suggests asking questions about how companies are adapting to remote work and relating your boot camp experience to their responses.


The path to landing an in-demand tech job takes dedication and commitment. Many applicants find themselves overwhelmed as they compete for open roles with the masses of other candidates vying for the same position. By following Hollister’s advice, you can eliminate some of the stress from the process and bring yourself one step closer to your dream job.

By choosing Penn Boot Camps, you will have access to virtual speaker series like How to Choose the Right Recruiter and more events such as demo days, instructor-led reviews, networking happy hours, and more.

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