To search this site, click here.
Copyrightę Pam Pohly, All Rights Reserved.
"Vision is the art of seeing things invisible."
How to Work with Search Firms in your Job Search
We suggest that you go ahead and bookmark this page, so that you may easily return here whenever you wish to.
The recruiter's credibility and income rests on her ability to satisfy the facility's needs (the employer). This means that you likely will not be the only candidate presented on a specific opportunity. If you are interested in moving to a desirable location or even if you are interested in exploring possibilities, here are some tips to help you be the most attractive candidate in the competition.
1) Distribute your resume widely.
Remember, search firms do not market you, they work for employers and usually only have specific "job orders" or "contracts" with those employers to help fill certain positions. Do not waste time in your job search by thinking that recruiters will go to work for you and find you a job. Instead, send your resume to hundreds of search firms in hopes that one or two or more of them will be currently handling positions which fit your qualifications or career goals. Do not think that you should limit yourself to contacting only recruiter that work or live in your region, unless you are currently interviewing for a position. Often the recruiters that handle the best jobs in your area, do not live or work in your area. In fact, the top executive and professional positions are rarely handled by local recruiters. In the age of plane travel, faxes, email and the internet, it is not at all necessary or even true that the recruiters you work with should be located in your town. And, remember, recruiters and search firms will handle your resume confidentially. They will not present your name or resume to anyone without your specific permission. It is a good idea to cultivate a handful of good relationships with recruiters which you will maintain throughout your career. To find recruiters, you will want to use a directory. For healthcare recruiter addresses, click here. Manage the process. We feel very strongly that the candidate should be the one controlling the search. To do this, you need to keep track of where your resume has been sent, whom you have talked to and what employers have been presented to you. Don't give permission to publish your resume or send it out without your specific approval. Make sure that all "send-outs" are cleared with you first. This will reduce the likelihood of several people presenting you to the same location, creating embarrassment and making you look disorganized. The best way many candidates have found to control the process is to keep a notebook with dates and results of calls, emails and contacts. If you decided to work with more than one recruiter let them know about each other. The ideal situation is to work with a recruiter who is networked with other reputable recruiters, so that there is one clearinghouse for services for you.
2) Always mail your resume with a cover letter.
Although recruiters are adept at reading and understanding resumes, they cannot read your mind. They may not know what position you are seeking, what area of the country you would like to live in or what your career goals are. Even the best written resume can leave out important information. The cover letter is your opportunity to seem more human, more personal, more real. If a recruiter has the sense that you are a real professional, the recruiter is more likely to think of you when an appropriate position opens. Cover letters provide both the personal and professional touch. Cover letters have the most impact if you use the name of an individual. Avoid sending "To Whom It May Concern" type letters.
3) If you e-mail or fax your resume, always follow up with a resume and cover letter by mail.
Although a large percentage of search firms are now accepting resumes through e-mail or websites, do not limit your contact to this method. See also How to Confidentially Submit Your Resume. When you send your resume by email, it is best to "copy and paste" it as a plain text added to the body of your e-mail. You should include information about what type of job you are looking for, why you are contemplating a change, what location, etc. Many people try to attach their resumes to e-mail messages as MS Word or WordPerfect documents. While they may look better this way, many recruiters will be unable to download them in that format. With the current concern about viruses, recruiters prefer that you simply copy your resume and letter into plain text and paste into the body of the e-mail (rather than "attaching"). So, it is wise to simply "copy and paste" your resume into the e-mail itself. Recruiters often ask for resumes by fax. This is OK if they make their fax number known. It is in your best interest to mail resumes and cover letters. They look better, they copy better and they leave a more positive lasting impression with the recruiter. A good package sends the message that you are a true professional.
4) Don't call a recruiter unless you are returning a call from the recruiter.
It is not necessary for you to call. In fact, sometimes, search firms will become annoyed with phone calls, unless you are returning their calls. This further emphasizes the importance of a well-written resume and cover letter. Only call a recruiter if the recruiter calls you first. Return calls promptly. The consultant needs to have appropriate access to you when facilities express an interest in you or if she wants to present a facility to you. In finding a job, timing is everything. As stated before, recruiters only work on specific positions from their clients - the employers. Recruiters do not look for a job for you and recruiters do not feel compelled to acknowledge the receipt of your resume. Recruiting offices receive hundreds of resumes by mail and make numerous phone calls everyday. Usually, search firms have excellent procedures for cataloging resumes and matching them to appropriate positions. So, remember, don't call unless you are called first. If you are called, return the call promptly.
5) Interview with the recruiter in the same manner that you would interview with an employer, sort of...
The recruiter has a responsibility to the employer. He or she is, in fact, representing the employer's interest when you are interviewed. Treat the recruiter with the same respect, integrity and professionalism that you would want to present to a prospective employer. Be honest, positive, knowledgeable and confident. Do be honest. In many ways, you will want to be more "upfront" with the recruiter than you usually would be with an employer. You will want to treat the recruiter much like you would a confidante because the more the recruiter knows about you, the easier it will be for her to describe you in the best light. Recruiters make great advisors and mentors. With their knowledge of the industry, their fingers to the pulses of industry changes and their contacts, you may also learn much about the industry. Be charming. You need to sell yourself not only to the staff at the facility but also to the recruiter. Recruiters are gatekeepers and if you don't make a favorable impression with your recruiter, the recruiter can't represent you appropriately to the facility. If you really blow it, you won't get presented at all by the best consultants. And, above all, always be honest with the recruiter about other opportunities, offers or interviews that you are engaging.
6) If you are not interested in a position that a recruiter has presented to you, don't waste the recruiter's time by pretending that you are.
The recruiter makes his or her salary by successfully filling a position. Usually this means that some or all of the expenses incurred are the recruiter's responsibility. Time is important to recruiters. So are their relationships with employers. Be sure not to waste the recruiter's time or money by stringing a recruiter along if you are not really interested in a position. Also, this will maintain your positive regard with the search firm which makes it possible for them to contact you many more times in the future when they learn of other opportunities. Don't burn any bridges! Be honest about your level of interest and motivation for moving. This will help the recruiter find the type of practice you want and not waste your time, the clients' time or facility's time on something that's not right for you. Be forthcoming with documents or references, as they are needed. Most recruiters will not check your references until you have accepted an invitation for a site visit. It is not necessary to put reference names on your resume.
7) If you change jobs, keep the recruiters informed of your whereabouts.
Once you make an initial contact with a search firm, do keep them informed if your status, location or job changes. It is really helpful to simply send an update letter, revised resume or postcard to the recruiters when your information changes. Do this by the same mode that you originally used. We advise professionals to do this immediately after every job change, by submitting an updated resume, not just a letter. If your situation changes, notify the recruiter. Perhaps you have decided not to move, or have obtained a new certification or your family situation has changed. Perhaps after looking for a while, you've decided to broaden your geographic preferences. Perhaps you've married and your new spouse needs a job. It is important to let your recruiter know so that effort is not wasted and that you are not presented to facilities that are inappropriate for you.
8) Even if you are not actively job hunting, if a recruiter calls you, do call them back.
Sometimes search firms locate the best candidates for jobs through leads and referrals. Even if you are not interested in a job change, you may know someone who is. Go ahead and call recruiters back when they call you. You should keep track of recruiters and let them keep track of you. In doing this, you are not being disloyal in any way to your current employer. This is simply a necessary part of your career planning. Many times, when professionals are happily employed, they think that they do not need to talk to search firms and, in fact, they may feel some guilt when the recruiters call. So, out of loyalty for their employer, they cut the conversation short and do not write the recruiter's name down. Big mistake! Then, as things go, 6 months later or next year there is a downsizing, a new hard to get along with boss, or a need to move to another location for family reasons. Then those professionals kick themselves for not having kept the names of those recruiters that had called them. Don't let this happen to you! It is smart to maintain your relationships with them throughout your career. Let them send you a business card or brochure which you can copy and give to your colleagues and / or file away for a day when you may need the services of a recruiter. This is called networking, the successful key to any career.
9) After you speak with an employer, always call your recruiter immediately.
Give the recruiter feedback after visits and telephone interviews so that she can aim more accurately the next time or perhaps work out any minor problems that may have come up. The recruiter will be "running interference" between you and the potential employer, so, don't leave them out of the loop once the interview process begins. Use your recruiter's skill in negotiations to express any concerns. This will help facilitate communication and allow some of the details to be handled at a more comfortable arm's length.
Click here to go to this website's Table of Contents