Take a minute to consider the key ingredients of a successful and happy relationship. What qualities do you look for in friends? Teammates? Significant others? It shouldn’t take long for you to come to the realization that there is a common formula to relationship building, no matter the setting. Whether you are a candidate looking for a recruiter to work with or a recruiter looking for a candidate to work with, both arrive with preconceived expectations about how they want to treat and be treated. Have this discussion upon meeting and you will set yourself up for a happy and successful working relationship.

Be yourself. Everyone has their limitations or areas that they could improve upon. It’s important not to misrepresent yourself when getting to know each other. A candidate’s resume should depict their abilities and experiences, not delusions of an unfamiliar or wishful skill. A recruiter’s duty, in a recruiter/candidate relationship, is to represent their candidate by accurately leveraging their strengths and positioning their skill-set in a way that best suits their intended career path. In the same breath, it is equally as important for recruiters not to portray themselves as experts in a space if they are not. Be open with each other about who you are and what you can do. This will allow you both to have each other’s back if push comes to shove. Misrepresenting each other will not only ruin a relationship, but it will also stain your reputation within the IT community.

Be honest. Everyone can think of a time where lack of honesty directly affected a relationship. In a relationship that is geared towards career advancement for both parties, there is very little tolerance for dishonesty. Telling your partner what they want to hear, rather than telling them the truth, is a form of dishonesty. As a candidate, if you are pursuing other opportunities that may take you off the market soon, be upfront with your recruiter. A good recruiter, and partner, won’t see that as you are being an undeliverable resource. They will see it as an opportunity to light a fire under the client to get things moving faster for you. Honesty builds trust, and people go above and beyond for those that they trust.

Be yourself, be honest, and do your part in your candidate/recruiter relationship. Who knows, you might end up accidentally making a life-long friend in the process.