If you’ve never worked with a recruiter before, the idea of introducing a liaison between you and your potential new employer may be a bit scary and confusing. However, the right recruiter can make the difference between an arduous IT job search and a smooth ride to your dream job. Here are some of the most common myths about working with recruiters:

1. You have to pay the recruiter to help you find a job

Many people falsely believe that they must pay a recruiter to help in their job search, however, this is one of the main myths about working with recruiters. It’s actually the other way around. Companies pay recruiters to help place the best candidates for their open positions. A recruiter’s compensation is determined through an agreement with the employer and often based on a percentage of the candidate’s starting salary; so it’s in the best interest of the recruiter to negotiate the highest possible salary for you. It’s a win-win for both sides!

2. Recruiters can only find you online

Though your online image is important, recruiters use a variety of methods to acquire talent. Often recruiters find candidates through the recommendations of previously placed candidates. Traditional networking within your circle of colleagues and friends may lead you to a recruiter.

3. Recruiters are your advocate

The truth may hurt, but recruiters are working for the job-seeking company, not for the candidate. Their mission is to fill their client’s position with the best-fitting candidate, and that might mean skipping over you for a particular opportunity. However, clearly communicating your skills and career aspirations to a recruiter assures he or she will keep you in mind for future opportunities where you’ll be a better fit.