Few people realize it, but symbiotic relationships can be developed with headhunters to help you professionally. Their livelihood depends on who and what they know. Perhaps you can exchange mutually beneficial information. But do be circumspect. An un-ethical headhunter can create further competition for you when you share information about companies you are talking to.

Select two or three firms that work in your field. Do not mass mail your resume to every agent in town. This can lead to multiple submissions of your resume to a single company and a resultant argument over which agency is due a fee. When such a situation arises, companies will sometimes choose to walk away from the candidate in question.

Ascertain network and association membership and how this might help in your job search. Determine who pays the fee and whether any contracts will need to be exchanged. Define titles and the employment levels they represent, along with geographical areas. Know what you want, or ask for assistance in defining your parameters. This will include title, style of company, salary expectations, benefits, and location.

If the professional is interested in representing you, expect a detailed analysis of your background and prepare to be honest. Do not overstate your job duties, accomplishments, or education. If there are employment gaps, explain them.

Find out first what the professional expects of you in the relationship and then explain what you expect. Reach commitments you both can live with, and stick with them. If you break those commitments, expect your representative to cease representation and withdraw your candidacy from potential employers. They are far more interested in long-term relationships than passing nuisances.

Keep the recruiter informed about any and all changes in your status, such as salary increases, promotions, layoffs, or other offers of employment.

Don’t consider yourself an employment expert. You get a job for yourself every three or four years. These people do it for a living every day of every week. Ask for their objective input and seek their advice in developing interviewing strategies with their clients.

Always tell the truth.