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Series 4113 Number 5 - When Recruiters Can Help You The Most *

When we lose our jobs, after the resume, the first thing we think of is to contact as many recruiters as we can. Recruiters find talent for their company clients. It is only logical to let as many know as soon as possible of your availability. But let’s look at some facts.

  1. Recruiters work for companies, not candidates. Their primary goal is to fill a position with the right person, not necessarily you. They get paid when they fill the bill. If the search is a new one, they usually present a variety of different types of candidates to their client to get his impression of which type he really likes. Words on paper describing the perfect candidate are sometime miles away from what the client really wanted. Most of the initial group of candidates fall by the wayside. It becomes a learning experience for the recruiter. Now he has a better idea of what the client really wants.
  1. When unemployed candidates send out their resumes to recruiters, oftentimes the recruiter never even sees the resume. If the resume is of interest to the recruiter’s screener, he may pass it to one of their recruiters or the one addressed on the letter for review. If not, at best the resume gets scanned into the recruiter’s database, providing it had enough of key search words to warrant later consideration. But here is the fact. Most of the recruiters I approached confessed to me that only a very small percentage of their presented candidates come from their database of candidates, on an average of 2% or less! With such a low percentage, why send out your resume in the first place? Even with low odds, it is worth letting your recruiter list know of your availability, but certainly after the mailing, move on to better avenues where you can find your next job.
  1. If you do a mailing to a published job listing by a recruiter, your odds go up somewhat but keep in mind; the recruiter’s client would perhaps prefer the final candidate to be his competition’s most successful employee. However, not every search is publicized as sometimes the recruiter’s client requests, and for good reason, that the search be confidential. Again, if you are unemployed, your odds are low.

So when should you be approaching a recruiter? Of course, when you are riding high in your job. We advise candidates entering into a new job to send out a blast personalized letter to their list of recruiters, perhaps the very list they used when they were looking and got a mediocre reply, if at all. The letter should acknowledge that you had been looking for work and had included them in your search and you now have great news to report. You have landed a terrific position and you wanted to alert them to this and thank them for whatever contact you may have had. You include your new business card and conclude your letter with an invitation to the recruiter to offer to help him on any of his searches for people you might know. But, this is only the beginning.

Your next recruiter blast will be when any of the following events occur: 1. You have had an extraordinary accomplishment at your new company (one you can talk about) 2. Your company has launched a new product, division, expansion, service which you may or may not be involved in 3. Profits have gone up and the company has had an excellent quarter 4. You have written an article that was published in a technical or trade magazine and you wanted him to take note (include a copy). I am sure you are getting the idea.

Each time an event happens like this, a new blast goes out. Each time the recruiter hears about you and/or your company’s success. Your name keeps re-appearing in only best of terms. So, when the recruiter needs someone with your skills, whose name has been passing continually in front of his eyes? You got it. Following this formula, you may never have to look for that next job. It will find you!

Of course, there is one small caveat to the above campaign. You must be a super achiever, a person who likes success and generates the profile of a winner. 

  • For more on this subject, consult Super Job Search; it is The Complete Manual for Job-Seekers & Career-Changers.

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* For readability, this is a gender-unique document.