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Cons of Working with a Recruiter

Cons of Working with a Recruiter

We have previously discussed the good that can come from a positive relationship with a recruiter; however, there are bound to be both positives and negatives in any recruiting situation.

Recruiters may be trying to fill positions that do not exist.

If you are familiar at all with companies that assist employers in hiring, you have probably come across this situation. You apply for a job that sounds like a great fit, jump through all the hoops only to deduce that there was in fact no actual position. Most likely, the company was beefing up their prospective employee pool but not actually hiring yet. This can be a frustrating waste of time, especially if you are currently working and taking time off to meet with recruiters. Keep your head in the game and ask important, informational questions early in the process. If there isn’t enough information available about a position and the timeline involved, chances are the position doesn’t exist today (although it theoretically could be coming available in the future).

You may be applying for positions that aren’t a good fit because you don’t have all of the information.

When dealing with zealous recruiters, you may come across one or two that are so driven to get someone hired that your needs and desires get pushed to a back burner. In these cases, you may be put into some uncomfortable situations and be found interviewing for positions that would never work for you. Should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, be honest and tell the hiring personnel that you may not be well suited for the position they are interviewing for. If it feels appropriate you can ask if there might be a position open in a different department that you would be qualified to apply for.

You may be undersold.

At times it can benefit the recruiter to get you into a position at the lowest rate possible, maybe without much of a raise from your current position. While recruiters are working with both you and the prospective employer and hope to please you both, they are ultimately best serving the interests of the employer. They might try to undersell you in an effort to fill a position quickly.

To protect yourself, you will want to talk to many different recruiters and do your own compensation research to identify what you are truly worth. You may want to keep your past salary information private to gain as much information from them as possible. Remember, there are no rules where this is concerned; it is your right to keep your personal information private. You need to keep your own needs front and center. If you don’t feel like you are being valued appropriately, walk away.

Remember recruiters find people for jobs, not the other way around.

While most recruiters will try to do right by their candidates, it is important to remember who they are really working for. Be aware of the possibility that they might make promises they can’t keep—perhaps because they do not have as much insider information as the hiring executive does. Also, never sign a document stating that they are the only recruiter that you will work with. Above all, don’t pay them anything. A good recruiter, working in your best interest while simultaneously serving the needs of their direct customers (companies seeking rare talent), won’t be taking additional payments from you for current or future obligations. Be alert, and keep ultimate control of your future in your own hands.

By Brandy Higginson, Five Strengths Contributor

Recruiters — Friend or Foe?

Recruiters — Friend or Foe?

Recruiters are great to have in your corner when looking for a new position. Employers don’t always advertise job openings instead, they hire a professional recruiter. The people who make up this resourceful position keep an extensive network of contacts, know where open positions are, and are trained to place applicants into the best fit position.

Professional Recruiters will typically specialize in one career field. They will know which companies are hiring for those specific positions. If you are looking for multiple positions in multiple fields, you will want to work with more than one recruiter. That isn’t to say you should go to a recruiter for every position you think you would be qualified for, you do need to be selective. Not every recruiter operates the same way and you may tarnish your reputation by utilizing the service too much or with careless application.

Recruiter--friend or foe? Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Recruiter–friend or foe? Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

PROFESSIONAL RECRUITER PROS

FREE

Professional recruiters are paid by their clients, employers, not by you. They should not ask for any compensation from you.

INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Most professional recruiters, once they set you up with an interview, will help you prepare for that interview. They can give you the details about what to expect, information about the company, and what they are looking for from you. Interviews, no matter how many times you go through them, can still be a nerve-wracking process. Any interview preparation that can be done will help you feel more confident and composed during that process.

CONSTRUCTIVE CONNECTION

You want a recruiter who communicates well and works with you to build a mutually beneficial relationship. This means they respect your contact hours, keep you up-to-date, and reach out to you with new opportunities. Having that connection will further your prospects and open new doors for you. While your recruiter may not have that perfect job for you today, they will keep you in mind when it does come along. It is all about matching the best possible fit for each position and a favorable exchange with a recruiter will help them determine where you fit into a new position with your career field.

FAMILIARITY WITH THE CAREER

Hopefully, the recruiter you select will have previous knowledge about the career field you are pursuing. If not, they should attempt to research the individual position and provide you with details about that open job. Some recruiters will have a relationship with companies you are applying at as the companies choose which recruiting agency they want to fill their position. With that relationship, they should be able to give you information beyond the simple job posting. This information could include actual job title, responsibilities, and insight into the company’s culture.

PROPER POSITION SELECTION

You should be confident trusting your recruiter. Knowing they are working around positions that require your skills, have your desired pay scale, and keeps your priorities part of their priorities. Make sure you do your part by submitting all of that information to them – it will make it easier in the long run and alleviate any confusion

POSITIVE INTENTIONS

When it comes to your job hunt, you want the truth. Your recruiter should work with you to set realistic expectations and let you know what is going on. They should make it clear if your line of work isn’t their specialty — maybe even going as far as suggesting another recruiter that does specialize in your field. Recruiters know what their clients want to see on a resume and should let you know if yours is selling you short. If your resume isn’t up to snuff, they should be able to point you in the right direction to get it up to the client’s standards. While the truth might be hard to hear sometimes, recruiters need to have that tough love approach in order to keep everyone’s best interests to heart.

PROFESSIONAL RECRUITER CONS

FRUITLESS CONNECTION

Some recruiters will only contact you if they have a position you would fit into. They focus on results — filling positions for clients. That doesn’t necessarily mean finding you a position or building any kind of rapport with you. It could take these recruiters weeks to get back to you, even if it is bad news for your job search. You really want your recruiter to respect your career path and your personal priorities. You don’t want that call to be in the middle of your work day with the expectation that you will drop what you’re doing and talk to them. And you don’t want an unreliable recruiter. If you are getting this kind of treatment from any recruiter, they are not invested in you and view you as their commission. Filling positions is their job, but if you’re just another number to them, recruiters will push you toward jobs that aren’t fit for you. The recruiter’s client is the company employer, not you. Their priority is finding a body to fill the position and helping you to gain employment is always going to be second priority.

NO INSIGHT TO THE POSITION

If your recruiter doesn’t take the time to get the details of the position, you can’t count on them to keep your priorities in mind. When they don’t know anything beyond what the job’s posting dictates, they can’t help you prepare for the interview or the position. You want a recruiter who is willing to invest the time and effort, to the company and to you, in order to guarantee the best person for the job gets the job.

ILL-SUITED JOB PLACEMENT

Some recruiters don’t bother finding the right fit. They have a canned style of recruiting employees meaning they put your resume out for any position that resembles your field. These recruiters don’t take the time to look closely at the job’s pay, location, or company culture to determine how you would fit into it. If you use a recruiter performing this way, you will probably end up with interviews or even a job that is ill-suited to your abilities.

MISLEADING MOTIVES

The truth isn’t always pleasant and some recruiters use that as the rationale for only telling you what you want to hear. A good rule of thumb: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Recognizing a recruiter’s language — candy-coated promises and overly enthusiastic expectations — is key to determining how they will communicate with you.

More honest recruiters than dishonest are out there. It is in their best interest to do their job well for both their clients and job seekers. They will do everything that they can to find the best person for the job, even if it isn’t you. If you aren’t right for the job, you want a recruiter that will recognize that. You don’t really want any job that isn’t a good fit for you. For example, if you are working for a great company in a low level position and apply for a higher position, but your passion is not with that job, you aren’t the right person for the job. Go after your professional passion. The right fit will make both you and the employer happy. When using a recruiter, part of their importance is their network and expertise at placing individuals into their ideal opportunities. Make sure you’re looking for a job on your own, recruiters aren’t the only way to find employment. Relying solely on the recruiter may cause you to miss out on an opportunity they aren’t aware of. Keep in mind: you are the best candidate for a job, it will just take time to find it.

By Kaley Buck, Five Strengths Contributor

Entrepreneurs Need a Resume and a Professional Biography

Entrepreneurs Need a Resume and a Professional Biography

I’ve written in the past about resume writing for business owners. But it’s not enough for entrepreneurs to have a resume. Entrepreneurs who are thinking about transitioning back into the corporate world also need a professional biography.

What Is a Professional Biography?

A professional biography is not a resume. A professional bio is a one-page statement of who you are from a branding perspective—a marketing document that is content-heavy, attractive, and readable. It’s purpose is to convince a hiring manager that you have the substance and experience to make interviewing you worth their while.

Constructing and Professional Biography from the Ground Up

As a business owner, you probably feel like your business is your life. But your business owner experience is not the same as your life story. So your professional biography will likely start somewhere around the time that you developed your idea for your company. If that was while you were in college, great—use that to your advantage. But the fact that this document is called a biography doesn’t mean you need to collect your personal history starting from your childhood. Remember: Everything you present to a future hiring manager counts, and this needs to be clean, professional, content-laden, and well written to get a jaded hiring manager’s attention.

Key Sections of a Professional Biography

There are many formats that will work for a professional bio; you might want to research what your potential colleagues have developed. Likely they will all contain the following elements:

  • A history of how you got to the point at which you are seeking to make the transition to corporate life.
  • A brief discussion of your skill set, detailing a few stories of accomplishments specifically related to your target role.
  • Your educational history.
  • Your contact information.
    Your photo, if you choose.
  • Recommendations or testimonials from clients and vendors.
  • Speaking engagements or publications related to your industry.
  • Related interests and hobbies, if appropriate.

How to Use a Professional Biography

Certainly, you must have a resume if you are applying for jobs. However, as you network into companies and work with recruiters, you might want to have copies of your professional biography ready to present. Because your bio will be lighter and eminently readable yet still contain the essential elements of your brand, you might find that recruiters and hiring managers are likely to read this document to get a broader sense of the person behind the words—you, the professional ready to tackle a corporate positions successfully.

If you’re an entrepreneur who is trying to break into a traditional corporate job, learn how an executive resume writing service can help you make that transition here.

Podcast: Recruiters Will Respond to Your E-mailed Resume if They Can Read It!

Podcast 2

Resume ASCII Conversion — Recruiters Will Respond to Your E-mailed Resume if They Can Read It!

Converting a resume to ASCII before applying online for a job might make the difference between having your resume read and having it ignored. Creating an ASCII conversion of your resume makes a clean document suitable for human readability and applicant tracking system searchability. A certified advanced resume writer might be your best resource for proper resume ASCII conversion.

IT Waves Goodbye to the Cover Letter

There are plenty of resources out there for job seekers that spout the continued importance of cover letters. However, this continues to be a widely debated subject. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer from the people who matter to you the job seeker; that is, hiring managers, recruiters, and human resource departments. That being said, we at Ashley Ellis are going to come right out and say that, in the IT world, the answer is no, you don’t need a cover letter.

To be frank, the number one reason cover letters aren’t read by hiring managers is the sheer volume of people applying and the hours it would take to direct personal attention to each and every person’s cover letter. Today’s world is one of speed and efficiency, and the practice of the cover letter just doesn’t seem to fit in with that vision. This is especially true in the IT realm: since IT Directors and Managers typically embrace that vision, a cover letter isn’t going to do much for them.

However, even if there was an extra hour in each day to read cover letters, hiring managers are unanimous in the view that if a resume doesn’t hold its own, then a cover letter will not help you get an interview. If a resume is bad, a cover letter won’t be read at all. On the other hand, if your resume does stand out from the masses, the chance your letter might be read increases. However, if your resume is good enough to get you an interview by itself, why create a second chance for you to be weeded out with a cover letter that potentially just doesn’t cut it? In other words, a great resume by itself can get you an interview. If you add a cover letter into the mix, your chance at an interview might be hurt.

If you’re still tempted to write a cover letter despite all this, keep a few things in mind before you put pen to paper. If cover letters are read at all, they are not read in depth, so stay brief and to the point. A cover letter that consists of an autobiography, a detailed explanation of personal issues or requirements, or an extended version of the resume just won’t cut it. Essentially, a cover letter should be a snap shot of your resume that can reach out to both technical and non-technical people. Briefly highlight both your technical and non-technical skills, especially ones that were specifically mentioned in the job description.

Watch for any inconsistencies between the letter and your resume that may inadvertently pop up. Also, personalization is good: Put some effort into researching the company and briefly explain why you want to work for them and what you can bring to their table. Finally, please resist any temptation to enclose an autobiography within your cover letter, even an abridged version. Ultimately, if you really need a measure, a cover letter shouldn’t be more than two or three short and concise paragraphs.

The bottom line is all signs indicate that we’re speeding towards a world where a cover letter is simply not worth your time or brain cells, especially in the IT world. If you choose to get ahead of this train, then great. If, however, you’re still intent on writing a cover letter, then our tips will definitely help you on your way.

Clare Webster – Interactive Copywriter at Ashley Ellis

Ashley Ellis is an Information Technology Recruiting/Staffing firm, focused on staying ahead of the industry through our excellent customer service and constant drive toward improvement.