When you need or want a new job, the warm, friendly voice of a job recruiter – a.k.a., headhunter – can seem like an oasis in the desert. The recruiter is positive and upbeat about his or her chances of finding you the position you seek. In some cases this could turn out to be the answer to a prayer – but in most it somehow fall short.
There are a number of reasons why this is true. For one thing, the recruiter is not working for you, but for the employer who might hire you. They are the ones who will pay the recruiters fee. For another, the job market is very competitive in most fields. Though a recruiter may try to raise your hope and belief in him and his abilities, he is talking with many other candidates about the same positions. Finally, a recruiter is on commission, and that means that he’s also a salesman. He will know how to talk you into a good position – even if he’s ultimately unable to deliver it.
Still there is some value to be had in working with a job recruiter.
How To Get The Most From Working With A Job Recruiter
Ask For A Realistic Assessment Of The Likelihood Of Them Finding You A Job
Ask the recruiter for a realistic assessment of the likelihood of him or her finding you a job. The point is, you don’t want to waste time. Ask the recruiter to be completely honest about your job prospects. If he or she does not realistically believe that they can place you in a job, you may need to move on.
Some recruiters will be honest about this – after all, they don’t want to waste their time either. But some like to build a portfolio of potential candidates, like you, so that they will be ready to move you into a position as soon as one opens. That can make them look very good to an employer, but it doesn’t help your chances of getting a job anytime soon.
Make sure you are claiming your job hunting expenses when you file your taxes!
Get The Recruiter’s Assessment Of Your Qualifications
We’ve all gotten those rejection letters that say something along the lines of while you have considerable skills, we unfortunately have no position available for you at this time. Superficially, those kinds of letters can seem comforting, but they’re really a nice way of rejecting you. Worse, they tell you nothing substantive about the reason why you didn’t get the job.
A recruiter can help with this. He or she is free to be completely honest about your qualifications as they relate to positions that are available in your field. If you have had an interview but didn‘t get an offer, get as much information as possible from the recruiter as to why you didn‘t. And if the recruiter doesn’t get you any interviews, ask him or her to be honest about what it is you may be lacking.
The recruiter assessment process can be brutal, but the information that you will gain can be priceless.
Ask The Job Recruiter To Send Your Resume Out “Blind”
The last thing that you ever want a recruiter to do is to take the “shotgun approach” to finding you a job. That’s where a recruiter blasts your resume out to nearly every potential employer in the area, hoping to maximize the chance of getting you out on some interviews, complete with a job offer or two.
Make sure that this is not the approach taken.
By introducing you to every potential employer in town, the recruiter has effectively eliminated any chance of you finding a job any other way. The fact that the recruiter introduced you to the employer may require that the employer pay the recruiter a commission to hire you. If the employer is not in the habit of paying commissions to recruiters, that will eliminate your candidacy with that employer, even if you approach the employer on your own.
Instead, insist that the recruiter send out your resume “blind”. This is a recruiting term in which the employer modifies your resume by removing any information that would conclusively identify you personally. At a minimum, it will involve removing your name and contact information, and even your current employer’s name. The purpose is to keep your search essentially anonymous.
If the recruiter complies, and sends out blind resumes, you will still be free to approaches employers on your own. And that’s an option you’ll need to keep open, even if you’re working with a recruiter.
Never Pay A Fee For Their Services
There’s not much to say on this topic. Recruiters typically are compensated with commissions paid by the employer upon successfully filling a position. If a recruiter asks for a fee from you upfront, he is essentially asking for double compensation. Worse, there will probably be no guarantee of your finding a job upon paying the fee.
Moral of the story: if a recruiter asks you to pay a finders fee upfront – run!
Never Rely Completely On A Recruiter To Find You A Position
Unless a recruiter is well known in your industry, and has a demonstrated track record of successful placements, you should see him or her simply as one resource in your job search. While he is out looking for a suitable position for you, you should continue your own efforts to find a job.
You are the only person who is responsible for finding you a job. A recruiter is simply someone whose assistance you seek along the way. But as a rule, a recruiter should never be considered the be your sole job source.
Keeping these tips in mind could make a recruiter into a valuable asset in your job search. But if you rely on him or her too heavily, you could end up with exactly the opposite result.
How much luck have you had using a recruiter to find you a job?
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