Register CV

Developer Careers Guide 12: The call or meeting with the recruiter

Your CV’s been submitted to the recruitment agency. What happens now, and how can you maximize your chance of getting to interview?

It would be rare for a recruitment agent to put your CV forward for a role without speaking to you first. Most recruiters will want to find out more about your background and tell you more about the position that they have, to check they are selecting a strong candidate and will have the best chance of earning their commission. This is your chance to impress your recruiter enough to make sure that your CV is chosen.

We mentioned in an earlier post (Getting the best from recruiters) the importance of treating recruitment agents in the right way and those simple rules should always be followed. (To recap: when speaking to agents you should always be friendly, confident and enthusiastic to ensure that they do not form a bad opinion of you which could lead to them rejecting your application based on personal dislike.)

After sending your CV you should ALWAYS follow up with a phone call, but I would recommend that you leave it at least two hours to give them time to make contact first.

Treat any conversation with a recruiter – however brief – as an interview. It is a chance for you to impress the recruiter enough for them to send your CV to their client. Make sure that you have questions prepared about the role to show your interest in it. It’s easy to have two or three standard questions on general areas:

  • The company’s background
  • Why the job has come up (growth/attrition)
  • The recruiter’s past experience with the client

Some further tips when dealing with recruiters:

  • Guide the recruiter through the suitable sections of your CV.
  • Ask the recruiter how many other candidates are being considered for the role and if they have had candidates that are more suitable than yourself.

Top 2% tips

Crucial question

Ask if there is any reason why the recruiter will not put your CV forward to the client. This is crucial, as it will give them a chance to tell you any doubts that they may have and give you a chance to address their concern and re-sell yourself. If they agree that they will send your application through, ask if they mind if you call back in a few days to check on the progress.


Always ask if the recruiter will be able to meet you. Many recruiters do most of their business over the phone, but typically if you can meet a recruiter you are able to make a much better ‘sales pitch’ for your suitability. It usually gives you a better chance of being represented if you can meet with the recruiter. This is an ideal time for you to get a lot of information about the role so have a list of questions ready.

Recruiting agents often have very good relationships with their clients – the company with the vacancy – and if they think you came across badly in their meeting with you they will warn the client. Inevitably this will give the client a poor impression of you, which can be unsalvageable. So, when you meet the agent it is important that you make a good impression, and attitude and preparation are both important.

Work well with the recruiter, and you will have a much better chance of being selected for interview. We will look at interviews in the next few posts of the RecWorks Developer Careers Guide.

Leave A Comment