The power of networking should really not be underestimated, and yes having a good relationship with a recruiter or two can really help you out in the long run.

Most roles that I have recruited for, have been filled well before they are advertised publicly. As a recruiter my goal is to connect with a wide range of individuals. With this my network is benefited by the relationships I have. Likewise as an individual you can tap in and expand on your own network. Invest time in building and growing your network, as the old saying goes - it is who you know, not what you know...