Recruiters are typically companies or individuals seeking executives or others to fill current or future vacancies for their clients. They may be able to connect you to a great job that hasn't even been advertised yet. Before you start working with one, though, it is best to know how these professionals function.
1. You are not the recruiter's employer.
You cannot hire recruiters, because they work for companies who need employees. Their aim is to find qualified candidates for openings that exist.
Consequently, recruiters will not offer career testing or counseling. They won't write your resume for you.
2. There are different types of recruiters. How do they vary?
First, a recruiter works either directly for the hiring company or for an agency the hiring company has engaged to find employees. How do you know which you're dealing with? The first type is normally located in the hiring company's office. The second type will work from the office of the search company. Correspondence also provides clues--most email addresses will contain the company name.
Some recruiters concentrate more on lower-level openings, and some on filling executive-type positions. The first may have more client companies, and hence more jobs available. The second group will take more time to get to know potential candidates, their histories and abilities.
Also, some recruiters specialize in certain fields: the technical or the creative/artistic, for example. You should seek out a recruiter who is oriented toward finding executives in the industry in which you specialize.
3. An interview with a recruiter is just as important as an interview with an employer.
Your first goal is to ace that first interview. Although the hiring decision is the employer's, a recruiter has to believe in you enough to recommend you.
Dress for an interview with a recruiter as you would for one with your potential boss. Exude a professional attitude. Ask, as well as answer, questions. Be completely honest about your interests and experience as well as any gaps in employment. Send a thank-you note.
4. Recruiters are concerned with what you have already done and are doing.
They want to see proof that you are already experienced and qualified for a position. They are not generally interested in helping you change careers. If you are seeking to change careers, get education and/or experience in that second career. Only then would it be appropriate to seek a recruiter for that new career field.
Once you understand the recruiter's goal, you can avail yourself of their services. Your relationship with a recruiter can assist both of you in reaching your mutual goals. Click here for more information on an executive search in your area.