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Have You Ever Worked With Recruiters?

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Over the last 3 years I have learned more about recruiters than I ever wanted to know.

During my search for Director of IT position I have dealt with many different type of recruiters and there are almost as many as sand on the beach. The lessons I have learned are as followed:

1.) Often they contact you when you post or update your resume on one of the many job boards. First line of contact is email. If their name sounds Indian or something foreign that is hard to pronounce often they know nothing about the job except what is written in the job description. They use the shot gun or fish trawler approach. Try to get as many candidates as possible that fit some or most of the keywords on the job description

2.) If contacted by phone and there English is worse than that of a newborn baby same as above applies. They most likely found the job posted somewhere else and don’t know more about it than you would after reading the job description. Often you probably would know more since you might be more familiar with specific job/position related terms.

3.) If told to send your resume immediately, basically right now (why haven’t you sent it already? you should have anticipated my call.), because it is an urgent requirement in 99.999% of the time they have know connection with the hiring company and they want to be the first to present a number of candidates.

4.) Ask questions about the position and its requirement. If the recruiter cannot answer your questions he has no affiliation with the hiring company and does not know more about it than you do.

5.) Try to stay with a retained recruiter. This means they are the sole firm trying to find the right candidate and you won’t compete against hundreds of other applicants that have been screened rather poorly. Usually a retained recruiter has met with HR or the hiring manager for this position and knows a lot about the position and the organization and what candidate fits the best. Not only based on skills but also based on personality and cultural fit.

My advice is and it has so far been my best experience:

  • Establish a personal relationship with a recruiter. If at all possible meet the recruiter in person. Only this way they get to know you and can tell whether you are not only a skill fit for a potential position but also a personal and cultural fit for the hiring organization.
  • Maintain and grow your network.
  • Do not neglect your network.
  • Brand yourself and demonstrate your skills through social media like Twitter, Facebook or through blogging or a combination of the fore mentioned.
  • Stay in touch with people you worked with in the past, like peers, colleagues, superiors or supervisors, alumnis, old friends you have not heard of in years.
  • Attend Social Media Events, like Meetups or Tweetups



I have had some great experience with recruiters but also some bad and frustrating ones. Don’t let the bad ones discourage you. There are some excellent recruiters and recruiting firms out there.

I encourage you to share the experience you have made with recruiters in the Comments Section below.


About Oliver Schmid

Experienced IT executive with over 20 years of global experience and demonstrated success in driving IT value, business and IT, reducing overall costs, and quickly executing and delivering business solutions. Member of the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP)

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