Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How to Effectively Work with a Recruiter to Land the Job

I usually write about freelancing issues. But, I've been getting a lot of queries lately that revolve around FT employment. So, I will dedicate the next few posts to those who are seeking full-time jobs. Have a question, send it in. Today's topic, working with a recruiter to land a job.

Y. Black, Publisher
How to Effectively Work with a Recruiter to Land a Job

I've been a recruiter off and on for over 10 years. When I tell people this, they invariably ask one of two questions: a) can you find me a job; or b) can you find a job for my _____ (fill in the blank).

Following are two things you can do to effectively work with a recruiter and increase your chance of landing your dream job.

RE The Job Search: Contrary to popular belief, recruiters don't find jobs for people. We fill needs for client companies. Let me explain.

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Recruiters don't work for candidates; they work for companies because that's who pays the fee. When a company calls with a job order, we start the recruiting process. This usually involves tapping into our network.

This is why recruiters will always tell you to send in your resume. Our very livelihood depends on being plugged into a network of people. Why? Because we never know where that next perfect candidate is going to come from, or the next job order.

Using the Network for Job Orders: I attend a lot of networking events. One recent job order came my way circuitously.

I attended a networking event at a hotel. I was talking to the guy behind the seafood counter. He was a hotel employee, not an event attendee (I talk to everybody).

During our conversation, I mentioned that I was recruiting architects - I had a job order on my desk for five. We shot the breeze, I gave him my card and didn't think anything more about it.
A few weeks later, he called and told me that he met an architect through another contact, and he passed the contact info along to me. I called, and this candidate was a perfect fit for one of the slots I had open.

He didn't accept the position though. He had recently moved into town to open his own firm. Rats! BUT, a few months after opening his firm, guess who he called when he needed an assistant? Me! I had taken him to lunch and we hit it off really well.

This is how relationships bear fruit for recruiters. Some recruiters have 10-15,000 names in their database.

The moral of this little story? Become a resource for a recruiter. That way, when you are ready to look, they will go out of their way for you.

Resume Writing: Sometimes, a recruiter will ask you to revise your resume to illustrate "x" better. I've rewritten so many resumes that I could do it in my sleep. But, it is not a task I enjoy, or that many will undertake.

When we ask candidates to revise their resume, it's because we want you to be the perfect fit for the job. This has to be demonstrated on paper first.

Because we usually get a feel for what a client is looking for - over and beyond what a job description details - you have a much better chance of landing an interview if you follow our advice.

Most recruiters work on commission, so if they are taking the time to work with you to get your resume right, it is because they believe you have a legitimate chance of securing the position - or at least securing an interview.

Also, when we ask for changes, we usually need it right away. I know this can be a pain, especially if you work full-time. But, when you get home, make the changes and send it THAT night.

We work with and filter hundreds of resumes a week. If a candidate is uncooperative, it is all too easy to move on to the next qualified candidate.

Although recruiters can seem callous, it's rarely the case. Most of us are just trying to feed our families - and that means working the job orders given us by client companies, not trying to find a specific job for a specific candidate.

Believe me, when you're the perfect fit, you won't have to call us; we'll be calling you!
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