By Koula Vasilopoulos, District President, Robert Half

If you’re a student or recent graduate, it’s probably crossed your mind that at some point you’ll need to put some thought into landing that first full-time job. But, when the time arrives, you don’t have to go it alone. A recruiter (often also called a staffing agency) can help, and working with one won’t cost you anything.

For professional staffing firms, this won’t be their first rodeo. The best ones have the experience to open doors that may otherwise remain closed or unknown to you. A recruiter aids your job search by taking on these nine roles:


  • Expert guide — A recruiter will support you in the transition from school to the workforce. Whether you’re an aspiring tech specialist or executive assistant, an industry-specific staffing firm has local knowledge of your particular field. When you sign up, you’ll receive tailored assistance from a professional who thoroughly understands the employment landscape in your city.


  • Knowledgeable insider — Most recruiters have actual experience in the particular field they work in. They know which companies are hiring and what they can afford to pay. They often have insider information about vacancies before they’re public knowledge, which means the job seekers they work with have first dibs on those choice positions.


  • Reliable vetter— A respected staffing firm is known for quality and rigorous screening, and employers trust the applications they receive from their hiring partner. Because of this, when you work with a recruiter, you already have a leg up on your competitors.


  • Tireless marketer — With the power of a reputable staffing firm on your side, you can be confident that people other than you are talking up your skills. A recruiter can make the case that even with your short work history, you have the technical expertise and interpersonal abilities to meet an employer’s hiring needs. A recruiter can be your loudest cheerleader during your job search.


  • Savvy matchmaker — Do you worry you’ll make the wrong decision and end up with a job you hate? Although there are no guarantees in life, you stand a better chance of loving your first full-time position when you work with a recruiter. Why? One of this professional’s most fundamental tasks is to introduce the right job seeker to the right company. They’re already familiar with an array of employers, and by thoroughly understanding your particular goals and preferences, they can match you with a job and work environment you’ll enjoy.



  • Kind critic — When you embark on a job search, it’s important to know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. A recruiter can give you honest feedback about what skills you lack and how to acquire or sharpen them. They’ll let you know if you’re trying to land a job you’re not qualified for, or how to negotiate an appropriate salary for your city and experience level. They might even advise you on how to clean up your digital footprint.


  • Time saver — Perusing job boards, sending out applications and following up afterwards can take hours out of your day. But when you sign up with a staffing agency, you’ll get some help with the search process.


  • Ongoing supporter — Your relationship with your recruiter doesn’t end when you get a job offer. They’ll also check in with you during your first few weeks to make sure things are going well. And of course, you can always contact them again when you’re ready to further your career and look for your next challenge.


When you take advantage of what a recruiter offers, you greatly simplify your first job search. But remember that not all staffing agencies are created equally. Be sure to partner with one that specializes in your field and has a solid reputation in your city. Best wishes as you launch your career!

This article is provided by Koula Vasilopoulos, a district president for Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide. For career and management advice, follow our blog at