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Candidate Question: How do I find the best recruiter to help me in my job search?

Spaghetti is ready

Q:

How do I find the "best" (if there is such a way to tell) recruiters in a particular field or desired work location? I have just started my job search and am struggling to figure out which recruiting companies or recruiters I can target to contact or send my resume to. Or should one just use the buck shot method and hope for the best?

A:

Recruiting firms are usually either generalists or specialists. Some work nationwide, while others may only work in a specific region or even a single city. Finding the "best" recruiter is really a matter of opinion and who you are comfortable dealing with

The best way to find a trusted recruiter in your industry is to ask around. Ask your college professors or work colleagues. You can also search LinkedIN for recruiters within your field as well — we′re all there. Most than likely, you'll have the best luck finding opportunities through recruiters who are specialists in your field.

Remember: A recruiter works for a client company, not the candidate.  Recruiters do not always spend a lot of time with candidates until they have a matching position varies. Some recruiters will take a few minutes to get to know you better for upcoming opportunities, especially if they think there is a good chance of placing you in the near future, but there isn′t always time to speak to each candidate in detail when filling open searches is the priority.

Ensure the recruiting firm has the information it needs. When you present your details to give the recruiter the pertinent information about your background and your search. Your resume, career highlights, your interests, geographical preferences, and salary range are a good start.

Don′t use the buckshot method. You do not want just anyone with a copy of your resume in hand. Unfortunately, not all recruiters will treat your information in confidence. There are recruiters out there who will just float a resume around the industry to see if they can get any interest and an easy placement without even speaking to you. You don't want to be the spaghetti they are throwing against the wall to see if it sticks.

I′ve heard stories of people who are interviewing on their own with companies and all the sudden some unknown recruiter sends the person′s resume as if it were the firms referral without ever having contact with the candidate. It's an uncomfortable situation to be in - so protect your information. This is a unprofessional and unforgivable practice, but it happens — choose wisely!

This is part of an on-going series of candidate questions submitted through this blog. If you have a question you would like featured, please submit it here. Confidentiality is guaranteed.

For other candidate questions, see the archive of questions download Before Night Falls .

Photo credit: Gluemoon [Flickr]
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