There are many reasons to use a recruiter when looking for new career opportunities. If you can get past the idea that recruiters are nothing but “used car salesmen,” we may be able to help you understand a recruiters’ function and value.
1. First and foremost, the service to the job seeker is typically free.
A recruiter is literally a “no risk” opportunity from a cost perspective. That being said, be wary of recruiters that charge the job seeker a fee. The industry model is that companies hire the recruiter or agency to provide talent for them. In fact, many companies allocate recruiter fees in their human resources budget.
2. I always advise candidates to leverage the network for the recruiter/recruiters with whom they may be working.
This may be the best argument for seeking out a recruiter in a job search. Recruiters spend their days talking with candidates in various industries, communicating with hiring managers at a variety of companies, networking in professional industry organizations, scouring job boards, business journals and reading about current industry trends. All of these activities expand and grow a recruiter’s professional network. Moreover, this intellectual capital can be a significant benefit in matching a candidate with a company or position that meets their requirements. Recruiters can provide insight that would not otherwise be available to you or public knowledge.
3. Recruiters will often have a “heads up” about new opportunities before they are made public.
Recruiters also have relationships with hiring managers. This can help a job seeker get past the initial human resources barrier and directly onto the radar of the key decision maker. The resume portal or “black hole”, can leave a candidate wondering for days, weeks, even months if the right person has even seen the resume. Without knowing if you are even in consideration as a candidate, it can be confusing to know what next steps to take . This uncertainty can be disappointing to say the least, and this is an area that a recruiter can be helpful.
4. A recruiter provide resume feedback.
This is a question I receive regularly. Now I could spend an entire afternoon discussing the different types of resume formats, the pros and cons of each, and what method is the best. The truth of the matter is, there is really no right way, but there is definitely a wrong way. Who better to give you the feedback than someone who reviews literally thousands of resumes each year? Again, I would advise staying away from companies that charge a fee to critique or write your resume. Any recruiter worth their salt will be happy to advise you in this area at no cost. Furthermore, provide guidance as to what they see as effective in their respective market or industry. Remember, no one speaks better about you than you!
The fact of the matter is that a motivated job seeker can do a lot of work themselves. The benefit of a recruiter can be the difference between being a full time “resume submitter” and actually getting the opportunity to connect with a hiring manager. A good recruiter can get job seekers plugged in to opportunities before they are public, thus giving a distinct advantage. A good recruiter will know how to help a job seeker write a resume. Crafting a resume that best conveys your skill set to hiring managers in a critical step. In addition, it is beneficial to partner with a recruiter who can help you navigate their way through the hiring process from interview to offer. A good recruiter will be a value added resource and a business partner with a consultant mentality.
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