A call from a recruiter is more likely to be for their gain than yours. Still, that call could be the springboard for your next jump up the career ladder.

With the economy still sputtering and the unemployed outnumbering job vacancies by six to one, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, recruiters and headhunters are becoming an increasingly vital contact. Last year they helped nearly 13 million U.S. workers find temporary, contract or permanent jobs, and more than 90% of U.S. companies now use staffing firms to fill vacancies, according to the American Staffing Association.

As you might expect, technology, health care and engineering are some of the major industries that are looking to hire at the moment, while ironically enough, the recruitment industry itself is one of the biggest boomers. (The U.S. Department of Labor expecting it to grow more than 50% by 2014.) While you might not expect it, you could soon get a call from one these smooth-talkers, so here are TIME Moneyland’s top tips for how to make recruiters work for you.

1. Set The Tone

It’s important to establish a dynamic from the outset and ensure your relationship starts on a comfortable footing. For Alison Doyle, job search expert for, the first call is all about laying down cards on the table at the earliest point. “It’s important to set the tone at the very beginning of your relationship,” she says. “Find out what information the recruiter needs from you and if they have specific openings they are interested in talking to you about.” She also recommends determining how you will stay in contact with the recruiter, and how often.