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Working With Recruiters

Professional or Amateur?

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You can determine whether your recruiter is a seasoned professional or an amateur. An experienced recruiter will always get feedback from a company following an interview she has arranged. The recruiter won't continue to send applicants to the client company without knowing why the ones she already sent were unsuccessful. Without such critical feedback, the recruiter has no way of knowing where the recruiting efforts are falling short. The recruiter needs this feedback so she may do a better job of sending the right kinds of candidates.

A sign of an amateur - or a fisherman - is the recruiter that does nothing except collect resumes, for no apparent purpose. If you are contacted by a recruiter and asked to send your resume, don't be afraid to ask questions about why he wants to see it. I would ask the following questions.

  • Is there a specific job you have in mind for me?
  • Once you have my resume in hand, when can I expect to hear from you again?"
  • Will you ever send my resume to one of your clients without my knowledge and/or consent?

If a recruiter ever contacts you and asks for a resume before knowing anything about your professional background, don't send it. Your resume could land in places where you don't want it to be. A professional recruiter, though he is working for the client company, not you, will want to ensure that you are a "good" candidate.

He will ask questions such as these.

  • What are you seeking in a new employer that you don't currently have available where you are presently working?
  • Would you consider relocation for the right job, and if so, where? (If you say you would consider relocation, they should also ask about your family situation. Does your spouse work? Do you have children still in school?) This will help them determine whether you (and your family) will be happy, and stay with the job, if moving is necessary.

A professional recruiter will want to know that she has not only done a good job for the client, but that she also kept your best interests in mind as well. (When I was recruiting, most of my referrals came from satisfied candidates who I had treated with respect. I also gave them the courtesy of thorough communication, even if I wasn't able to place them on a new job for one reason or another.)

Understanding your recruiter, and ensuring that they understand you, is the first step in successfully seeking a new job through a recruiter.

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