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Interviews Motivation

Professional Recruiters & Your Job Search


This article was motivated by several questions I receive constantly about whether to use a recruiter during a job search or is it just a waste of time.  I will be honest – I highly recommend you use a professional recruiter if you get an opportunity.  The reason being is they typically have developed relationships with the organizations looking to hire and they have an “IN” vs. just aimlessly sending your resume over to a company where it falls to a pile with 10,000 other resumes IF it even makes it that far.

Companies use fancy fandangle software such as PeopleSoft to search for specific words indicating the specific skillset, education level or experience needed if your resume doesn’t hit the SWEET spot it could easily get overlooked.  This is where a recruiter comes in.  They can screen you, help you update and modernize your resume so it is relevant for the position they plan to submit you for.  They are on YOUR team as they have a vested interest to get you hired so they will work on your behalf to get you seen, get you prepped for the interview and follow up with the hiring management team to provide any valuable feedback.

You should never have to pay a recruiter to shop you.  They get their money from the hiring company.  Now, what you must understand that money typically is a percentage of your potential salary which COULD ultimately impact your base salary offering which will be paid using a sample paystub.  This is because from a company’s standpoint they are paying a fee or premium to find the right talent by using a headhunter/recruiter.  Recruiters typically receive anywhere between 10% to 20% of the negotiated salary depending on the company, industry and position.  Don’t fret though – they still work hard on your behalf to help you find the right match and fit so the premium is well worth it in my opinion.  Plus, once you get your foot in the door it is up to YOU to shine brilliantly so your management team sees you as a prime candidate for pay raises and promotions – which can help you jump your salary very nicely.

But let’s not be shortsighted – base salary is just ONE component of your overall compensation.  You must take into account things like days off, company-paid holidays, sick leave, 401K contribution (oh yeah if you don’t plan to contribute to it you are hurting no one but yourself), bonus potential and medical benefits just to name a few.  Progressive companies have gotten creative and also offer a plethora of other fringe benefits that could definitely make it worth your while to join the organization.


Many times recruiters know the ins and outs of the organization and can help you determine if it is the best match for you and where you start or continue your career.

Next logical question may be – “Well how do I find a recruiter”?  I’ll be honest – I found many of the recruiters I know through staff requisitions when I was hiring for certain positions.  If you are just starting out that is not an option for you but I have also found many recruiters by posting my resume out on job and career sites where you can search for positions.  Once I put my resume out there – recruiters perform a search for a talent acquisition request they received from a hiring company and BING – if you have the right words in your resume they will find it and possibly call you to get more information to determine if they should pursue shopping you to the hiring organization.  That is the easiest way to get noticed.

So if you wondered if you should work with a recruiter, unless you have a very unique situation, I HIGHLY recommend it.  They can get you noticed and out there so you can find your dream job.

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