Promoting Professional Geekery #3: Help Out Recruiters

So you want to promote professional geekery, the idea of doing what you like as a hobby, the idea that what YOU love can be a profession.  There's other people who are glad to promote people's careers too, the recruiters.

Know what?  They need help.  They need your help.

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Help Out Your Recruiters

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Thank a Recruiter

Take a moment to thank a recruiter.

Recruiters don't have an easy time in this tough economy.  Many people are suffering unemployment and underemployment – and the same happens to recruiters.  Their goal after all is to place people in jobs and no jobs means no placement.

Recruiters face the depressing facts of the economy day in and day out.  It's there in status reports, in interviews, in every customer that withdraws a request, in every potential recruit who is told no.  Recruiters face every facet of the Great Recession as part of their job; that has to be depressing.

Recruiters have to move with the times in technology, knowledge, and understanding professions.  A person may need to understand their job and career, but a recruiter needs to stay on top of many professions.  They need to stay on top of this news even in a troubled economy because . . . well it may just be important.

Once, a recruiter called me to see if I knew someone for a programming position that involved more Java experience than was possible.  When I told them that, frankly, the client didn't know what he was talking about, the recruiter said that's why he called.  He wanted his fear confirmed – and to blow off a bit of stream with a friendly voice.

Take a moment to remember the recruiters.  It's not just good networking – it's a sign of respect and empathy to people who probably need it.

– Steven Savage