The reality is that recruiters are client-centric and when I use the term “client” I mean companies looking to hire people. The common myth is that recruiters help job seekers find jobs. Not at all.
We can only directly help job seekers secure a job if we do have a specific requirement that would fit their background and interests. We can certainly provide job consultation to some extent, but our days have to be maximized finding specific people for clients' specific needs. That's not to say it is not a good idea to align yourself with a recruiter if you are looking for a job. It certainly offers advantages. There is just a way to go about it to get the attention you are seeking as a job hunter. It is not a question of recruiters not wanting to get more personal with candidates.
Any good recruiter would tell you they would like to get as much info and get a better feel for their candidates through meeting with them in person. Beyond trying to figure out if the candidate has all the hard skills and qualifications, you want to get a better sense of the candidate’s personality, communications skills, personal and work circumstances that could affect their motivations. That requires a lot of time and a smart recruiter has to know how to funnel the relevant ones that he has to work with to present suitable candidates to his clients.
The screening process is quite important and inevitable for any recruiter. Having said this, the best way to engage a recruiter if you are a job seeker is to basically let them know, “Hey I understand you are working on this job, I have the skill sets you are looking for.” Usually the best way to showcase that is to create a well-crafted resume specific to a job requirement. It is always a good idea to go on the recruiter’s webpage and check out if there are any specific jobs they are doing that you could be a good fit for, study that and build your case from there.
Now it may also occur they don’t have specific jobs that could be a great fit for you at that point. It is still a good idea to connect with recruiters, and in this case the job seeker would want to align himself to a recruiter specific to his background and expertise. For example, an IT guy would want to align himself with an IT recruiter versus a recruiter focusing on Sales and Marketing. Chances are that industry specific recruiter has worked on jobs related to your background and may have opportunities that might come up in the near future for you. Recruiter websites would usually supply the recruiter’s information.
The game is “matching your specific skills and experience to the specific needs of the recruiter.”
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