When searching through candidates, executive recruiters typically ask three main questions about each candidate:
Can you do the job? This is all about your strengths, skills and experience
Will you love the job? This is all about your motivation and work ethic.
Can we tolerate working with you? This is all about how you will fit with the employees and employers already at the company.
You need to keep these in mind as you are working with the recruiter. Everything you think, do, and say when with the recruiter should be an attempt to answer those questions. You should mention your strengths and skills often, but not to the point that it becomes annoying or obnoxious. You should express how love and enjoyment of the field of work you are applying for and you should be fun, charismatic, and easy to be around.
Expressing your skills and your love of the field is an easy enough thing to do, but it will not get you the job. No matter how qualified you are the recruiter will not want to bring you to the employers as an option if you are someone they find difficult to work with. This is why the third question is the one you need to focus on when preparing to meet a recruiter.
Will your recruiter help you create a 30/60/90-day plan? The short answer is yes--especially if it's an external recruiter whose paycheck depends on you getting the job.
What's the catch? The key word is 'help.' You will have to get the ball rolling by asking the right questions to get the recruiter to share with you what they believe and know about the company and the job. Then the recruiter can point you in the right direction for your research on the company.
Here are some basic questions to ask your recruiter to help you create a killer 30/60/90-day plan:
It would be nice if all the recruiters who could place you in a position would just find and contact you, but it just doesn't work that way. Recruiters do search LinkedIn and other sites for potential candidates, but if they don't find you, your best chance of maximizing your executive job search options is to put yourself in front of them. But how do you find them? Here's how:
Ask colleagues, friends and other professionals in your field for names and contact info for recruiters they know.
Find companies in your space with employees like you (similar background, experience, title, etc.) and find out from those people what recruiter placed them in that company, or who they would recommend for that field. (A great way to do this is to use LinkedIn or other online professional networks.)
Call the associations in your industry (speak to the officers of the organization) and ask them if they know any recruiters who specialize in your industry. '
Click to expand question sets, then click individual questions to read the post.
Recruiters can be extremely valuable to your job search. Why? First, they very often have an “in” at some great companies that you don’t…if there’s an opening and the recruiter says, “Hey, this is someone you should look at,” that’s going to carry more weight than if you show up and say, “Here’s my resume.” Second, many companies prefer to hire only through recruiters…so for those particular jobs, the recruiter is the ONLY way to get to it.
To use recruiters to help you get a job, you need to know how they work. There are two basic types of recruiters: Internal and Third Party, or Contingency Recruiters.
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Internal recruiters work for the company. Their job is to recruit for that company and only that company. You’ll usually find them only in bigger corporations.
Third party, or contingency, recruiters are more like free agents who can work with multiple companies. They are paid by the client when a candidate is placed in that company. So if they find the candidate who eventually gets the job, they get something like a “finder’s fee” for doing it.
The recruiter’s mission is to provide their client (the company) with the type of candidate the client asks for. So if you show up and say, “Hey, I want to work for that company…introduce me,” that’s not going to work unless you have the skill set that company has asked to see. It doesn’t have anything to do with you and how wonderful you are…it’s just a matter of you being a match for what they asked for.
What all that means is that a recruiter isn’t going to spend much time with you if they don’t have a job that you’re a match for at that time. They will put you in their database for the future; if a job opening comes in that matches your skill sets, they’ll call you. (And here’s a hint: If a recruiter calls, call back quickly. They move fast to fill a spot.) Generally, unless you’re making more than $40,000 a year, a third party recruiter won’t be looking at you at all.
Your relationship with a recruiter fits into kind of a weird slot…they are both a networking contact for you that happens to have a lot of reach and influence and they are your very first interview with the company. When they call you to discuss an opportunity, consider yourself in phone interview mode. If you don’t represent yourself well, they probably aren’t going to keep moving you forward in the process and introduce you to the company. If you’re on the fence, they might give you pointers, though.
If one opportunity doesn’t work out through your recruiter, they will probably keep you on the short list for other opportunities (which is what I mean about networking). If you find a good recruiter, build and maintain the relationship throughout your career. If you have a good working relationship with them, you never know what opportunities might open up for you as a result.
You can find recruiters on all the social media networks. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, friend them on Facebook, and add them to your Google Plus circles.
(I have a circle of recruiters on Google Plus that you’re welcome to check out. I posted a few months ago about it: Circle of Recruiters.
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Carl and I have spent MANY years as recruiters and decided to create one comprehensive resource for job seekers that gives you the inside scoop on working with recruiters.
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