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Recruiters ARE NOT your BFF in the Job Search

June 28th, 2012

I just saw this on a career coach eList I’m on:

“While it may sound like an easy way to get a job is to turn the search over to a recruiter, it’s unlikely this will result in interviews or job offers. Today, most every candidate has to be their own advocate in a very competitive, very specialized job market.”

Debra Feldman, JobWhiz. Debra is an agent who works for candidates, not employers. She establishes networking connections that open doors to new job leads.

YES!  Debra is so right!

As a job seeker we’re looking for the easiest and most successful tactics to employ.  Like finding jobs on a job board and applying.  Or telling recruiters how great you are.

In reality, if they are easy, and supposedly lead to easy success, then you can bet tons of your competition (aka, other job seekers) are doing the same thing. When it becomes too easy, and too many people do it, you get lost in the NOISE.

Reality check: I heard a recruiter say one of her colleagues would regularly delete all the resumes she had collected just because it got to be too hard to go through them.

Yes, you are a noisy number.

Here’s my best experience with a recruiter.  I’ll never forget him.  Dave Steveson, owner of HirePointe (a recruiting shop), said this to me on our third meeting:

“Well, I think you are going to find a job for yourself a lot faster than I’ll find a job for you.”

WHUUUUUUUUH??????  At first I didn’t understand, but then it all made sense.  I thought Dave was my job search agent.  In fact, he wasn’t.  Not at all.  Neither were the 29 other recruiters I thought were my agents.

Take what Debra said above, and what Dave told me six years ago, to heart.  And stop thinking that talking to recruiters is your easy button.

Sorry.  But you actually do have to network.

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city, state or zip jobs by job search

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2 Responses to “Recruiters ARE NOT your BFF in the Job Search”

  1. Mark Bartz says:

    Agree – in the real world it’s about referrals from “trust agents”; 3rd party recruiters used to be those trust agents – I think social media is doing a great job of making trust agents out of employers (witness the high % of companies paying referral fees in talent acquisition).

  2. Bob says:

    These points are valid. To a large degree, the recruiting business has been commoditized. It’s not necessarily the fault of the recruiter, though in many cases it is. It’s okay when working with a recruiter to ask how he or she works. Good ones will be upfront and tell you and there are still plenty of good ones around who can and will help you. That said, you definitely have to be more active and lead the process today, as opposed to the “old” days.

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