Recruiters are categorized by industry, position, and geography. You should use the best mix of all of these categories to select those contacts who can best benefit your search.
You don’t pay recruiters; they are paid by the companies who hire them to fill jobs. Because search firms don’t work for you, don’t expect them to overly responsive when you contact them.
Recruiters may contact you if they have a position that fits your profile or to ask you to recommend other people who might be interested in a job.
Contingency recruiters receive payment only when their candidate is hired. Since they are competing with other recruiters to provide candidates for each assignment, they tend to work fast and to submit to the client company as many candidates as they can. This means you may be one of many candidates for a given job.
Retained recruiters are hired by a client company for an assignment, and are paid regardless of the results of the search. They are more often used to fill higher level positions with salaries of $70,000 and above.
Don’t be a pest to your recruiter. Ask how often they’d like you to check in with them. If they don’t give you a guideline, follow up with them once a month.
If a recruiter presents you with a job opportunity, don’t go around the recruiter and contact the company yourself, even if you know someone at the company.
Remember, recruiters are paid to recruit the best candidates. They do that by matching the skill sets and experience of candidates to the open position. If you’re a square peg in a round hole, you probably won’t get the call.
It’s okay to send an unsolicited resume and cover letter to a recruiter, but it probably won’t result in a return contact from the recruiter.
Recruiters rely on referrals. If you know someone who has been contacted by or placed by a recruiter serving your industry, let him or her know you would appreciate help in facilitating an introduction.
Help recruiters help you. Recruiters need to understand your qualifications in order to align your expertise with the positions they are trying to fill.
Recruiters use social media (Twitter, LinkedIn) to identify candidates. Connect with them on these sites.
Listen to your recruiter. He works for the client company, not you — so if he gives you tips on what to do, or how to act, listen!
Identify recruiters who specialize in your job field, geography, and career level. Recruiters want to work with marketable candidates, and that means you will want to talk to recruiters who specialize in your profession.
Be honest with your recruiter about your career goals, salary expectations, feedback from interviews, level of interest in a given job, etc. The more the recruiter knows about you, the more likely he is to find you a job that is a good fit.
The most valuable candidates to a recruiter are those who are not actively looking for work. Even if you’re not looking, take the recruiter’s call.
A good recruiter can be your eyes and ears on the job market when you are too busy to pay attention for yourself.
Don’t limit yourself to working with just one recruiter.
As with any profession, there are good recruiters and bad recruiters. Good recruiters treat everyone with respect, and care about the people they work with.
Top myth about recruiters: Recruiters find jobs for people. Wrong! Recruiters find people for jobs.
Great recruiters have the trust and attention of the hiring decision-makers who are the hardest to reach.
When contacted by a recruiter, ask what company are they recruiting for. (If you’ve already applied directly to that same company, they would usually not be able to represent you there.)
If a recruiter asks you to prepare a special version of your resume, do it. If a recruiter asks you to write a leadership profile, do it. Help them help you.