How do I get the best out of recruiters?
July 20, 2012 12:19 AM Subscribe
I'm job-hunting in the outside world after many years at a single idiosyncratic organisation. Recruiters are a foreign species to me. Please teach me how to get the best out of them.
posted by embrangled to Work & Money (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
So, I'm looking for government/policy/research jobs. They're almost all advertised through recruiters. I've never dealt with recruiters before. What are the assumptions governing the recruiter-jobhunter relationship? I know I'm the product, not the customer, but how does that work in practice?
Here are some examples of the sorts of things I don't know:
- Besides applying for specific advertised positions, should I be cold-calling recruiters and asking them to shop me around? How many should I work with at a time? What can I expect from them? How often should I bug them?
- My instinct when dealing directly with employers is to be rather formal and deferential. The recruiters I've spoken to so far have seemed really casual and familiar, both over the phone and by email. Should I match their tone, or are they trying to get me to drop my guard?
- If they ask me to summarise my experience, job preferences and salary expectations in an email ("Oh, it's just for me, don't worry about being formal, it won't go to any employers"), should I take them at their word?
- Can I/should I use them as a source of career/jobhunting advice? For example, is it appropriate to ask for feedback and suggestions on my resume, or advice about whether my salary expectations are realistic? Or should I be more circumspect?
- Should I mention factors like a preference for flexible hours early on, or should I keep quiet until I'm offered a position, like I would with an employer?