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10 Pointers about Using Recruiters in a Job Search

If you�ve never worked with a recruiter (a.k.a. headhunter) but are considering doing it the next time you make a change, here are some key points you should be aware of:

A recruiter will not act as your personal employment �agent� by actively trying to find a suitable position for you, tailored to your requirements.

Aside from corporate (in-house) recruiters, there are basically two types of recruiters, retained and contingency. A retained search firm has a contract with a company to find a candidate and receives some payment as a retainer during the process. A contingency recruiter has no search contract and receives no payment unless a placement is made. Both types generally like to submit multiple qualified candidates to a company for consideration�you�re not likely to be their only one.

Many recruiters specialize in certain fields, and it�s probably a waste of time to approach them if your field doesn�t match their focus.

Recruiters do not like to deal with people who want to make a career change. They typically work with candidates who are on a more straight-line career path.

If you�re flexible about relocation, you may be in a stronger position when you try to establish relationships with recruiters.

Talk with people you know who�ve worked with a recruiter successfully and use them as a referral when making an initial contact with the recruiter.

As in many other fields, the recruiting arena has its share of less-than-reputable players. It�s important to do some research before you try to deal with any recruiter, and that goes for those times when the recruiter is approaching you instead of the other way around.

Recruiters will almost certainly want to know your salary history and expectations before they talk to their client company about you. Since their fee is often based on a percentage of your first-year�s salary, they�re not necessarily looking to short-change you or drive-down your asking price, but they want to know what ballpark you�re in.

If you do manage to get a recruiter interested in you, be responsive to his/her calls and serious about how you handle the situation. Don�t brush the person off because you�re busy or ignore him/her because you�ve decided you�re not so sure you want to change after all.

Building a recruiter relationship takes time, care and patience. It is not a quick-fix solution to finding a new position.

About the author:

Adept Business Services has been meeting client needs since 1991. A Successful Career emerged as a division in 2003, in recognition of Georgia Adamson's extensive involvement in career planning and management. Although located in the San Jose / Silicon Valley region of California, she serves clients across the United States and throughout the world.

Prior to starting her business, Adamson worked for, and with, executives in high-tech companies in the Silicon Valley. She also spent over two years living and teaching school in Melbourne, Australia, which gave her a great opportunity to experience and appreciate cultural diversity. Over the past several years, she has created and delivered career seminars to diverse organizations, including business and professional groups, and she has held a leadership position in an organization of small-business owners. In addition, she has earned multiple professional certifications and become active in three national careers associations. Her resume work has been published in a total of nine books so far.

Like many business professionals, Adamson believes in giving back to her local community, where she has deep roots. In particular, she is an active, long-time Chamber of Commerce board member and Ambassador, as well as a past Vice President of Membership. She also writes a career-related column, "Career Smarts," for a weekly community newspaper

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