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Resume Keywords Are Necessary
Finding a Recruiter
Laid Off - Describing the Reasons You're Looking

Finding a Recruiter

Part 2 of 2

This week Iím showing you an additional four methods of finding a recruiter in your industry.

  1. Another easy and reputable way to locate an effective recruiter is through previous supervisors. Since you should be in touch with each of them for reference purposes, ask for any recommendations. Chances are one of them has used one or two firms to interview a candidate - or even to change jobs himself at some point - and will be able to tell you if the recruiter paid attention to what he was looking for or merely tried to slam a placement with pressure tactics. At the very least, each boss surely received calls and business cards from several firms seeking to do business and can give you some insight based on the conversations.

  2. Kennedy Publications prints an annual guide called The Directory of Executive Recruiters. Itís a thick, red book available in the reference section of large public libraries. There are a great many changes each year, so obtaining the most recent edition is important. It lists both retained and contingency firms alphabetically as well as by function, industry and geographic location, and specialties by recruiter name with their corresponding firm.

    Retained firms generally handle positions with salaries of $150K and above. If your salary is $100K and lower, start with the contingency firms. The salary range between the two can fall either way - usually toward retained Ė but there are always a few long-term gurus who began contingency and choose to remain contingency. Their career history is long and solid, and so is their client list.

    Choose your category in the Kennedy guide depending on your priorities. If you need to stay within Chicago, scan by geography for firms that handle your specialty. If youíre willing to move anywhere, then choose by specialty instead. Some retained firms wonít list an area of concentration. Many of them are generalists or change their focus from time to time and thus donít mention what industries they handle.

  3. The Employment Agency section of the yellow pages in your local phone book lists more than just secretarial, entry-level, and temporary help. You might find a few out-of-state firms listed because they have connections in your market, though youíll need to call to learn their specialties.

  4. Check the classified section of publications that serve your industry. Pick up a recent issue and, if you can, an issue thatís over two years old. Your first choices should be any firms listed in both issues, because that tells you the firm has a track record and knows the trends that are shaping and contributing to the industry.

Some firms such as Sales Consultants or Robert Half have been present for a long time in the sales industries or accounting industries respectively, and are large firms which serve as training grounds for recruiters. Nationwide search firms such as these have had industry presence and an established reputation for years. Each recruiter will not. That doesnít mean you should avoid these firms or any of their relatively inexperienced recruiters. Every successful recruiter got his start somewhere, and many began with large contingency firms prior to becoming self employed.

The training in these firms is impeccable - although there are occasionally trade-offs for it - because theyíre publicly traded, corporate firms or individually-owned franchises. They have bottom lines and overhead to meet, a sizeable draw allowance for the staff (with a sizeable turnover) and run contests for their recruiters. These contests are designed to help beginners overcome an initial reluctance to write search assignments and set up interviews. But sometimes these contests encourage a tendency to close a deal not in the best interest of either party.

Without a referral, finding a connected firm doesnít ensure you a good recruiter; thatís a separate topic. But it will certainly yield more than working with the ones searching the job boards.

Read Part 1

- Judi Perkins

Judi was a very successful recruiter for 22 years (15 contingency, 4 agency, 3 retained) and has now been a career coach for 3. The recruiter background, especially having been all three types, gives her deep insight into both sides of the hiring process. Now she teaches job seekers both the skill and psychological aspects of job hunting.

Sign up for her upcoming instructional webinar "Interview Techniques That Can Lead to Job Offers". Learn how to sell yourself, ask questions, create dialogue and get to the essence with a few simple techniques that are applicable at all levels.

Judi has been interviewed as an expert for books at each author's request; has her own book, "How to Find Your Perfect Job;:and has been quoted in numerous on and offline articles. She's also done radio interviews and speaking gigs. Her clients find jobs quickly, ending their months of frustration!

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