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You’re looking for a job, and you’re tired of browsing the same online listings day in and day out. It’s time to step up your job hunt and work with a staffing agency - but do you actually know what that entails?

Too often when a job-seeker is working with a recruiter, he or she doesn’t have clear expectations of what that recruiter can and should do for them, and unfortunately, that can sometimes lead to misunderstandings about what kinds of companies you want to interview with, what job offers you would or would not accept, and more. On the other hand, if you go into a relationship with a recruiter or staffing agency knowing your rights as a job seeker and with an idea of what to expect, you’ll get much more value out of your partnership with the recruiter. To give you an idea of what you should expect from a reputable recruiting firm, we’ve created The Job Seeker’s Bill of Rights. job-seeker-bill-of-rightsYou have the right to:

  1. Be treated respectfully and courteously. If a recruiter doesn’t treat you well, you don’t have to work with them.
  2. Only allow recruiters to send out your resume after getting your permission first. Otherwise, it might go to a company you’ve already worked for or somewhere an employee knows your current boss.
  3. Refuse an interview from a recruiter you’ve never spoken to before if they contact you saying one of their clients wants to hire you. It means they probably sent your resume to that company without your knowledge.
  4. Know your recruiter’s opinion on how you stack up against candidates with similar backgrounds.
  5. Negotiate any contract or agreement you are asked to sign.
  6. Register with as many recruiters or staffing agencies as you want; however, remember that the first recruiter to call you about an opening gets to present you to that company. Otherwise, you may be submitted multiple times for the same position.
  7. Know that if you’re placed in a full-time job, the recruiter receives a fee for placing you (usually 15-25% of your salary, paid by the hiring company).
  8. Know that for contract jobs, recruiters mark up your hourly rate anywhere from 50-75%, which helps pay staff, rent, and other business expenses.
  9. Turn down an hourly rate below your minimum, and negotiate for more (however, the hiring company may have a hard cap on the rate, so you may lose the opportunity for work).
  10. Turn down a contract job without feeling guilty- it’s your decision and your decision only.
  11. Change your mind and quit after accepting a contract job, as long as you give two weeks’ notice, as you would with any employer.

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