Building relationships with technology recruiters will be one of the best things you can do for your career. Now when I’m talking about recruiters, I don’t mean the ones that don’t even look at your resume and blast out posting from a database of possible candidates, the ones you can’t understand, the ones that call and call and call. I’m talking about the good ones. The ones that call to check in, even when there are no opportunities on their plate. The ones that will review your resume for you and give you feedback. The ones that prep you for interviews and complete mock interview with you. These are recruiters.
Recruiters are everywhere! Go on dice, monster, LinkedIn, Stack Overflow jobs, etc. 75% of all the posting are routed through recruiting agencies. Usually you can filter by recruiter only postings and apply. Apply to everything you think you are qualified for. This will get you in all the recruiters databases and this is how you insert yourself into their job finding funnel.
Try this experiment. Get onto Dice, fill your profile out fully, and upload your latest resume. Ensure you set your profile to visible. Wait. You will be getting flooded with all types of recruiters.
Once you’ve found a recruiter to work with, utilize them. It is not common knowledge (based on the people I’ve discussed this with), that you can utilize a recruiter for furthering your career. I first came to the realization of the vast free benefits a recruiter can offer right before I landed my gig at SMC. I was in the dark when it came to recruiters; thinking their only job is to get you a job. Not only do they do a lot of the heavy lifting when it is coming to the actual “job search”, but they will become an invaluable networking connection when you’re moving to your next adventure.
Recruiters will give you valuable feedback on your resume. They’ll point out what areas you are lacking in, what areas to highlight, writing a good objective statement, formatting, skills, etc. Recruiters will only get paid when they get you a job, so it is in their best interest to ensure your resume is clean, professional, and relevant.
Ask your recruiter to take you out to lunch to discuss your resume and relevant opportunities in your area. Most of the time, they’ll foot the bill too! They have to deal with flaky candidates all day, so make sure you’re on time. Besides former co-workers, this is the backbone of your professional network. Having a strong professional network is paramount in your career development.
It is incredibly important that you clearly state to the recruiter exactly what you want. Boundaries need to be established so that you are not a developer getting harassed about a help desk job. If you’re a junior developer, looking to work with .Net at $55k, tell them that. I can’t tell you how many times I had recruiters calling and email me about irrelevant postings.
After the initial “recruiter interview”, you recruiter will find you client interviews. You can utilize your recruiter for mock interviews to prepare. Any recruiter worth half their weight will give you a fact sheet on the company and a detailed description of the posting at a minimum. After your client interview, the recruiter will most likely follow up, get your feedback, and give you the client feedback. Rinse and repeat.
Recruiters are your friends
It can often times get frustrating when you’re first getting bombarded with recruiters, but it is important for you to maintain your composure. Sometimes they can be relentless and won’t take no for an answer. They are for all intents and purposes a salesman for people; so, it makes sense that they will tirelessly chase candiates. With that said, always be respectful and they will be more willing to get you in to good companies at generous pay rates.
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, then build a door.” — Milton Berle