Working with Recruiters
How do you work with a recruiter? This is a question we hear often at ProTech. Finding and landing a job is a challenge, and you can make it less stressful if you follow simple guidelines for working with recruiters.
First of all, it's important to understand that experienced recruiters have access to valuable information. From their broad perspective in working with companies and executives, they can see the entire playing field in a way few others can. They know the current trends, going salaries for particular job titles, which companies are hiring and which ones are struggling to stay afloat. They also have access to employment opportunities that are generally not advertised in the open market.
Recruiters work in two different venues of search.
Contingent Search – The recruiter only collects a professional services "fee" if they are successful in placing a candidate with their client company. In a contingent search there is typically more than one recruiting firm competing to fill the vacant position.
Retained Search – The recruiter collects a portion of the professional services "fee" when beginning the search and the balance once the search has been completed. In a retained search there is only one firm recruiting on the vacant position.
It turns out that many job seekers have misconceptions about the most basic role of a recruiter. They don't understand that recruiters don't work for them; they work for the client... "The Hiring Company."
These are five simple steps that will help you tremendously while working with a ProTech recruiter.
1. Review your resume
- This is your PERSONAL information, make sure it's sharp!
- Make sure it's correct and free of typos.
- If you have an "Objective" listed, remove it. An "Objective" telling them what you want to do also tells them that you are not open to other types of opportunities.
- Don't give out your references in your resume, either. Wait until you are asked for them.
Remember that resumes are marketing documents - and are used to screen you, in or out, for a position. The Recruiters at ProTech are resume experts and will be happy to advise you on your resume content.
2. Keep track
Keep track of who you send your resume to, what ad you were responding to (if any) and what date. You need to track this whether you sent it electronically; faxed it or snail mailed it. You should do this for any resumes you send out - whether to a company directly or to a recruiting firm. Recruiters will ask you where else you have submitted your resume - and you should be able to answer.
3. Work WITH
Once you have connected with a recruiter, remember that they are paid when they place a candidate. They are not working FOR you - they are working for their clients. The recruiters at ProTech will work WITH you. And you will get the best results from working WITH them.
The way to tell if a recruiter is really good is if they ask you about your experiences, your career goals, you salary requirements and they explain their process to you. They may ask you to rework your resume - this is commonly done to showcase your relevant experience for a particular position - so be ready to do it - if you are interested in the position. You should ask for a job description (if one is available), what company the position is in and how long it has been open. If you are open to working as a contractor (i.e. temporary) or prefer permanent work - tell the recruiter up front.
When the recruiter gets you an interview, be sure to ask as many questions as possible of the recruiter about the company, the hiring manager, and anything else you can think of in order to be prepared for the interview. Don't forget to do your own research, too.
When you have finished your interview, call the recruiter while it is still fresh in your mind, to debrief. If you know at after the interview that you do NOT want to work at that company or for that hiring manager - say so. Don't wait until you are in the offer process.
5. If you change jobs, keep the recruiters informed of your whereabouts.
Once you make an initial contact with a search firm, do keep them informed if your status, location or job changes. It is really helpful to simply send an update letter, revised resume or postcard to the recruiters when your information changes. ProTech advises professionals to do this immediately after every job change, by submitting an updated resume, not just a letter.
If your situation changes, notify the recruiter. Perhaps you have decided not to move, or have obtained a new certification or your family situation has changed. Perhaps after looking for a while, you've decided to broaden your geographic preferences. Perhaps you've married and your new spouse needs a job. It is important to let your recruiter know so that effort is not wasted and that you are not presented to facilities that are inappropriate for you.