Recruiters can be indispensable to your job search. They hear of jobs not otherwise posted, they have contacts you cannot make, and they know the ebb and flow of the market. A good recruiter is a valuable too to find a job because of their unique positions and knowledge.
However, if you're engaging the services of a recruiter to help you find a job, keep in mind that you have to help them do their job. A recruiter's lot is a challenging one, as they have to not only find the right position for you, but they also have to demonstrate to a potential employer that you can do the job. The recruiter thus is also relying on you, just as sure as you're relying on him and her.
Here is what you can do to help the recruiter do their job – and help you get your job:
- Know what you're looking for and communicate it clearly. Even if what you communicate with great clarity is "anything in this lousy economy" it's something they can work with. Give them an idea of what you want.
- Have a good resume and communicate your abilities. The better done your resume is, the easier it is for the recruiter to send it to a potential client. The better you can define and explain your skills and knowledge, the easier it is for a recruiter to match you to the right position.
- Have a "pitch." The recruiter doesn't necessarily know you that well, and can only do so much in selling you as a potential employer. Help them out by having your own "pitch" on who you are, what you do, and so on.
- Know and explain your limits. Do you want a job in a given area? On the bus line? A company of a certain size? Make sure the recruiter knows these limits and specific requests.
- Provide "extras." If you're a progeek, you've got those extra Geek Edges we've talked about – a portfolio, a web page, a book, a history of running conventions, etc. Provide these to the recruiter – they can't know about them if you don't tell them. If they know about them, these extras can often be the vital edge you need to get that job.
This may seem to be quite a list, but keep in mind how challenging a recruiters job is – many clients, many potential recruits, economic changes, and the omnipresent concern a competitor has an edge on them. They've got enough to do getting oyu a job – help them out by following the above advice.
This way you both win.
– Steven Savage