Things to think about before working with a Recruiter

job-seeker-button (1)Although I am biased I do believe working with a recruiter can be a successful and easier way to find a new career path than doing it on your own.  That being said, recruiters are not always the best way to go depending on your personal circumstance.  I will go through some common questions and issues to look at before working with a recruiter.  The number one question you have to ask yourself before working with a recruiter is “Am I exceptional?”  What does that mean?  It means that a recruiter has to work with the top performers especially since he or she is getting paid a fee for placing you in a company.  It’s a great free service (there are some recruiters that require money from candidates they work with but I am not one of them) for the candidate but the client company is expecting someone that is a difference maker.  A company that works with a recruiter wants someone that can hit the ground running with little to no training.  To use a sports analogy they’re looking for a Starter not someone that comes off the Bench.

Another challenge when working with a recruiter is placing a deadline on the search.  The job search process can take months and the old saying was it takes a month of searching for every 10K of your salary.  That translates to 12 months to find a new position if you’re making 120K.  Let me be clear – I do not subscribe to that salary based time line on any job search.  The job market is too unpredictable and volatile to try to boil it down to a simple equation.  However, I do believe that you need to expect the process to take at least 3 months and many times a good amount more depending on your circumstances.  Therefore I do think it is often tougher to work with a recruiter if you need to be somewhere else in a very short time frame, unless the recruiter has one or more jobs that fit you when you first call him or her.

Asking a recruiter to help you get an interview with a company after you’ve already tried on your own is another trend I’m seeing more and more currently.  If you’ve sent a resume in to a company and you haven’t heard back it can be very frustrating.  I can definitely empathize, but once the company has your information on file they’ve likely already made their decision that you’re not a fit for one reason or another usually based on your resume.  Also once a company has your information on file they will typically not pay a recruiter a fee for bringing you to their attention.  Therefore I always tell candidates I am actively working with to call me before sending off their resume so I can let them know if I’m already working on the Search or if I have connections at the company to help them get an interview.

Realistic expectations are key to success when working with a recruiter, but it’s also important to look for win-win scenarios.  Partnering with the right recruiter can give you a strong long-term advocate and advisor that can help make a difference in attaining your career goals.