P.O. Box 1059
Van Alstyne, TX 75495
Phone:  903.482.1362



How To Work With Recruiters


The most common misconception about recruiters aka headhunters aka executive search consultants, aka, aka, aka, is that “they” will find you a job. The actuality is that headhunters find people for jobs, not jobs for people.

Our primary role is to help our client companies find the talent that most closely meets the requirements of the role and the culture of the company. There are ways, however, to enlist the assistance of headhunters and interest them in your personal career advancement.

The most important single thing you can do is to listen to the headhunters who ask for your help in the course of their conducting a search. If you hear from the same recruiter several times a year, it is obvious that recruiter is actively involved in your industry or function. Retain their contact information and offer them assistance even though you are not actively looking at other opportunities when they call. Refer the recruiter to suitable contacts who may either have the appropriate background or who may know others who do.

Hint: Do not presume to judge another person’s interest level at any point. No matter how well you believe you know people with whom you work or have worked, there are too many life variables that can affect career decisions.

Hint: If your consistent response to a recruiter is “I don’t know anyone,” they will stop calling and when you require their assistance, they may feed you back your own words: “I don’t know of anything.”

The time to prepare for your next job search is while you are happy in your current job. When a headhunter calls, ask for a little more information about any given opportunity, explain briefly why you are not interested and what might interest you down the road, and then offer referrals.

Beware if you never hear from the same recruiter more than once! It is possible that individual has left the business—there is an extraordinary turnover rate in the recruiting industry—but if recruiters in general seldom or never call you a second or third time, it is likely your interpersonal telephone skills are poor. Ask the next recruiter who calls how you might improve your chances of repeat calls.

Understand that most independent recruiters personally work only a handful of searches at a time. The individual you speak with may not be working a suitable search at the time of your contact.

Hint: If “your” recruiter is a member of a formal recruiting network (such as Top Echelon—the largest network of independent recruiters in the World) they may invite you to submit your resume for sharing with their recruiting associates and affiliates. This can significantly increase your introduction to headhunters while protecting your identity from unwanted exposure to the general public.

Hint: Do not expect “your” recruiter to present you for positions where you do not meet most of the company’s stated requirements and desired qualifications. While the recruiter may agree you are a fast learner and could quickly learn the industry/product/market/skills to do the job, the company is paying only for the candidate(s) who currently hold very similar roles to those they are trying to fill.

Submit your resume to recruiters in their specified format. If posting at a website, follow the directions carefully.

Barcus Associates prefers a reverse chronological resume with a brief introductory summary. For active searches, we require a Word document resume to which we will add our logo and contact information before submitting to our clients.

Hint: Eliminate fancy borders and blocked areas which are difficult or impossible to move or reduce. Simple is best.

Hint: Do not cram so much information on a page that it will not accommodate a header or footer, will not allow reasonable margins, or that will fall outside the printable area. Much better to add an extra page.

Hint: Most recruiters today are paperless and do not accept or maintain mailed or faxed resumes.

Listen closely to the briefing instructions a recruiter offers before an interview. They may be able to point out the information the client most needs to make a favorable decision.

Always remember you represent the recruiter as well as yourself. Their reputation rests on your shoulders. Make them pleased to have you represent them so they will represent YOU to other clients as appropriate.

Respond as quickly as possible to your recruiter’s calls, emails, and requests. Call immediately following a scheduled interview with their client and let them know how you think the interview went. Advise of any concerns, troublesome questions, or important points you think may have been overlooked or missed during the interview. Ask when they expect to hear from the client; gauge your follow-up accordingly.

Hint: If interviews are scheduled over several days, it is unlikely the recruiter will have meaningful feedback until all interviews are completed.

If you did not make the cut, ask the recruiter what you might have done to have improved your chances, and accept the answer as constructive criticism to help you in your next interview.

Please do not pass the company names of the recruiter’s clients on to other job seekers. Instead, refer those people directly to the recruiter for presentation to their client. BA seldom conceals the name of our search client because we operate from a position of trust. We are aware of only three times when that trust has been violated, and the names of those individuals are indelibly engraved in our minds as lacking integrity—not a list on which one wants to be included.

If you accept a job through another source and leave the job market, notify those recruiters with whom you have been working so that they will stop marketing you to their clients. It is also important that they have your new contact information so they can call you regarding future searches.

Barcus Associates
PO Box 1059 • Van Alstyne • TX • 75495
Phone: (903) 482.1362
Email: moreinfo@barcusassociates.com
Web: www.barcusassociates.com

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