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How To Use A Recruiter To Find A Job (Part 1 of 3)


how to work with your recruiterFrom time to time, you may see a classified job ad that states, “We have a client in the global financial services sector looking to hire a private banking manager [or sales consultant, marketing director, IT manager, etc.]” This is an ad from a recruitment or headhunting agency.

Most job applicants don’t know how recruitment firms operate or what are the “rules of engagement” when dealing with a recruiter. There are five rules to bear in mind when working with a recruiter. In this first of three blog articles, I explain rule number one:

Rule 1: When shall I use a recruiter?

Recruiters are paid to find qualified job applicants for their clients (i.e. the employer or hiring company). Recruiters don’t charge job applicants for their services; instead they bill the employer for introducing job applicants who eventually gets hired by them.

Most job applicants typically find a recruiter in one of two ways: They will pick out recruitment firms through a Google or Yellow Pages search, or through personal introductions. They will visit the recruiter’s office, have a short discussion about the kind of work they are looking for, and hand their resume over to the recruiter. The recruiter will keep the resume in his database and call the candidate up if he finds suitable openings.

The other way job applicants find a recruiter is when they answer a recruiter’s job ad, similar to the one above. If you see a recruitment ad, and believe you meet most of the job requirements, then you can send in your application in much the same way as if you were applying directly to the employer.

When drafting your cover letter, bear in mind that you are writing to the recruitment firm, not the employer. Therefore, be careful not to say things such as, “I’ve long admired your leadership in the wireless sector.” Instead, state it in this way: “I’ve long admired XYZ’s leadership in the wireless sector.”

If the recruitment ad does not state the name of the company (this is the majority of cases), and you are hesitant about making an application, that’s fine. In fact, I recommend against making any job application unless you know the name of the employer. You may call up or email the recruiter, explain that you are an interested job applicant, and enquire about the name of the company. The recruiter may ask you very detailed questions about your background or occupation, to see if you are a legitimate job candidate.

If the recruitment firm is located in town, why not pay them a visit so you can meet the recruiter in person, and find out if there are other jobs that might suit your background and professional profile.

Once you find out the name of the hiring company, and feel that your skill sets match the job requirements, then fire off your application. But don’t apply unless you meet most of the job requirements; remember, recruiters are paid to find candidates that match the employer’s job requirements, and will seldom send through an applicant’s resume unless there’s a strong match.

That’s it for the first rule. The remaining four to be covered in the next two blogs are:

•  Are my chances better if I apply to a job recruiter’s ad, or if I apply directly to the hiring company?

•  How many recruitment companies can I use?

•  After my interview with a hiring company, can I follow up with the company directly, or should I go through my recruiter?

•  A recruiter has called me up out of the blue; shall I give her my resume?

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Milton Kiang, B.A., LL.B. is a professional resume writer with Channel Resume Services and helps jobs applicants create powerful resumes, enabling them to win job interviews in a competitive job market.

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