You can learn a lot from a resume. You can learn more from a recruiter.

Getting to know a recruiter can help you if you are a candidate or a hiring entity. A good recruiter goes beyond the resume and can advocate for a candidate and understand the subtle nuances of “fit” for a firm or legal department.

If you are a candidate, a good recruiter will advocate for you when it is appropriate. They can call out characteristics that are not readily apparent on your resume. In short, a good recruiter takes you from a piece of paper (your resume) to a person. The reciprocal is also true. A good recruiter will be able to assess your personality and know when a fit isn’t there, even if the skillset on paper is possibly a match. This is invaluable, as you don’t want to waste your time on job searching that will be fruitless.

If you are a firm, a good recruiter will learn a bit about your culture and work environment before submitting candidates. They will understand what makes a candidate successful and use that measure to screen potential candidates for fit before sending information to the hiring authority. They won’t waste your valuable time with candidates who won’t work. Candidates that mesh with your culture are more likely to stick around, are more productive and cause less disruption to other employees.

Ultimately, an attorney needs the appropriate skills to do their job well, but overlooking fit is a mistake and one that can be mitigated when using a recruiter.