Tips for Dealing With Recruiters to Find a Job

Electronic security

Finding a job has changed a lot over the years.  Today, companies use software, not people, to screen incoming resumes.  Called “talen-management” software, it uses sensors and controls to toss 50% of resumes and cover letters before any human at the company has a chance to see them.  About 90% of hiring comes from an employee referral.

Online Activity 

Networking is still the top way to land a job (34% of hiring is done through this) but applying online the second best way.  The latter has a 26% success rate.  Companies list job openings online nearly 70% of the time, though many good jobs still remain unlisted.  While not as regimented as the sensors andamp; controls used by screening software, hiring managers do look closely an applicant’s social media sites and do reject them based on what they find.


Given that CareerBuilder estimates that nearly 75% of people looking for a job never hear back, it is not surpassing that so many are turning to so called “head hunters.”  Recruiters receive at least 50 unread emails a day from job seekers.  The kinds of work recruits cover is varied and there are many different types.

Keep in mind that applicants’ resumes will still have to pass the sensors and controls to even reach a recruiter.

Tips for Working with Recruiters

  • You are not the client. The hiring company is.
  • Look for a recruiter in your field. It’s not just executive search firms who do the recruiting. There are IT Security recruiters, Logistics Recruiters, Plastic Recruiters, the list is nearly endless.  If someone wants to work in for the government, there are public sector recruiters.
  • Find out if the recruiter has a reservoir of resumes.  Some have such a backlog of resumes that they may never send yours to anyone while others prefer newer candidates.  Make sure the person you are dealing with is looking for new people.
  • How the recruiter is paid is not your business. This will have no impact on whether you get a job or what kind you get.
  • Have a good answer for “why are you unemployed?” If you don’t have a job when you are looking, make sure you can answer this.  Talk about your consulting, projects or volunteering (whichever is appropriate for you).
  • Get the recruiter’s communications preferences.  Look on their website to see what their preferences are for receiving materials. Craft your cover letter with the sensors and controls their company uses in mind.
  • Be easy to find!  Cultivate your online presence, give talks at community centers or colleges, join trade and professional associations.  If you are approached by a recruiter, it is so much better than you reaching out to them.
  • Ask recruiters questions.  You are not hiring them but you are working with them, ask about their experience and process.
  • Keep your promises.  If the recruiter has gotten you an interview, go to it.  Don’t go after jobs you know you won’t take.
  • Trust them.  They know what they are doing.
  • Let them negotiate your salary and benefits.  
  • Thank them.  No one likes to work hard for someone and not be appreciated.
  • Stay connected.  You never know what’s going to happen at any job.  Also, one way to stay in contact is to be helpful to the recruiter.  If they see you as a resource, it is better for you and them.

Finding work is a daunting task made worse by the sensors controls used to screen resumes.  With hard work and dedication, it is not impossible to find a great job.

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