Piedmont Group
Executive Search Firm

Working with a Recruiter...

Unsolicited contact is generally welcomed by most recruiting firms. The exception is often a recruiter who is highly specialized in a very narrow niche market. The best method of contact is usually sending your resume, along with all means by which you can be reached. This assumes your resume provides the pertinent information (see Resume Tips) needed by the recruiter to determine if your background fits the profile of a current/future search assignment.

  • Recruiters are not career counselors so don't expect them to be. Yes, recruiters are very capable of guiding candidates through the interview process, but they are not in the resume writing business, nor are they in the career or vocational counseling business. A professional recruiter will not ask you to come in to discuss your career objectives. Recruiters each year place thousands of candidates in enhanced career positions without ever meeting them face-to-face.
  • Never underestimate a recruiter's ability to enhance your career.
  • Recruiters are paid by their clients (the employer) A professional recruiter is paid to find that qualified, motivated individual needed by their client.
  • Generally there are two ways you will come in contact with a recruiter. One is for you to initiate the contact and the other occurs when a recruiter makes direct contact with you. More often than not, you have a stronger chance of leveraging your career if the recruiter contacts you. The reason being, if you have been contacted by a recruiter you probably have been targeted as a potential candidate relevant to a specific assignment the recruiter is working on.
  • If you receive an unexpected call from a recruiter, take a moment to hear about the opportunity before taking action. If you determine the opportunity is something you are potentially interested in, say so. If not interested, "be cooperative". You may be assisting your own career, now or in the future.
  • When you send your resume to a recruiter always include a cover letter stating your objective, interviewing availability, all ways to reach you ( telephone #'s, pager #, voice mail #, etc.) and a description of your current compensation program. Some candidates think it is not to their advantage to provide compensation information. This information is critical. By not telling the recruiter what your income is and what it will take for you to make a move, assumptions could be made that are wrong. If wrong assumptions are made (be it compensation or in any other area), the recruiter may not call you with the dream opportunity you've been seeking.
  • If you contact a recruiter for the purpose of changing industries don't be disappointed if the recruiter tells you that he/she can't help you. Your worth is directly related to your job experience. The more you distance yourself from your area of expertise (job experience), the less value you have to any recruiter and his/her client.
  • Remember, recruiters are paid by their clients to find candidates who meet and ideally exceed their client's rigid position requirements.
  • If you have submitted an unsolicited resume to a recruiter, don't assume you should follow-up on a regular basis. When you submit your resume, ask the recruiter when you should check back. Do make sure the recruiter has all ways to reach you. And realize that your background may not immediately fit the profile of a current search assignment. Be patient. When it does, the recruiter will contact you.
  • If the recruiter has scheduled you for an interview, call the recruiter ASAP following the interview to report how the interview went and whether or not you want to pursue the opportunity further. The reason being, if the interviewer considered you a "top prospect", they generally call the recruiter soon after the interview to ascertain your level of interest. If the recruiter has to tell the client he/she hasn't heard from you yet, it may send the wrong message.
  • If a recruiter calls and asks if you know someone who fits an assignment they are working on, don't say, "Yes" and then suggest that you will make a call to see if your friend is interested. First, the probability of you actually making that call is questionable. Second, if you do, you can't adequately respond to any questions that might come up. Let the recruiter make the call. If you want to remain anonymous, "just say so". The fact is, by the time the recruiter actually makes contact with your referral, it is not likely he/she will remember where the name originated.