EP 1136 Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter answers someone’s question about finding a recruiter to help them locate an interesting new job.

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Here is a question on Quora that I think is interesting and I will attempt to answer it.

"I'm working for a fairly large New York City company where I was the 1st software engineer on board. I have 10+ years of software development experience. In the past, I have applied normally for open jobs, however, the most interesting jobs seem to be filled before they are advertised. I would like to see if Tech recruiters can help me out here. In the past, I have been contacted by recruiters who just search for keywords which have just been a complete waste of time. I'm looking for recruiters who can actually find jobs that match my profile."

Like everything these days, it is all in the relationship. You want to put yourself in the position where you actually have a relationship with recruiters who are competent. How do you find recruiters there competent?

Let's start over the LinkedIn profile. You start with searching for recruiters who are in your target geography. You start searching for recruiters who might have positions that are available that superficially fit your background. If you think you can search from job search to job search with people looking out for you, let me just remind you the fact that you are asking people to work for nothing and they are actually getting paid by employers to fill jobs. I know this may not seem like a dichotomy to you, but it actually is.

If you think they recruit for you or you think they're trying to find work for you... That's not their job. Their job is actually to earn a commission by helping an organization find talent that they specify they need and then from there, identify talent that fits those roles. That's the nature of recruiting. Everything else are being told is BS. Let's go further.

How do you find those people? You can start with ads but is are probably going to get you more what you've already got. What you want to be doing is looking at LinkedIn profiles of recruiters that have jobs in your area. What you're looking for is a few things.

Numbers of years of experience. I'm not going to do a commercial for myself but more experience and a stable background is going to tell you something about the recruiter. What's it going to tell you? If you see someone with 6 months here and 3 months there and 9 months there who has change jobs pretty regularly, they are probably not a good producer because the firm would've wanted to tie them in and make them a part of their day to day operations. Instead, they are being let go regularly and they have to find another job regularly, someone else is giving them a chance, but they are not feeling lots of positions. That's trick number 1.

Trick number 2 is to see if you can find people who are writing, publishing, or what have you because they are committed to their career. They are not necessarily burn and churn artists. That's the 2nd thing that you can look for.

The 3rd thing is to listen to how they talk to you. Are they commoditizing you or are they taking some care and how they communicate with you. When they talk about the job opportunity, do they sound knowledgeable or do they sound like a jerk. I think you can discern the difference you recognize enough jerks of their behavior. At the end of the day, if someone calls you about the job, you can ask them, "So, tell me about your background." If they talk with you about it, you go to their LinkedIn profile and findings BS, they are lying to you.

There's an interesting thing that happens pretty often, recruiters of the truth of the LinkedIn profile and don't necessarily tell the truth when you talk to people over the phone. It's a funny dichotomy. At the end of the day, you have work to do in order to find these people, evaluate them and determine whether or not they can really help.

Recognize that if you find this job (it seems like you been in one place for 10 years and you are not a junior individual), stay in touch. Use them as a recruiting source for hiring. Keep them posted on what's going on at the firm that you joined and introduce them to people who are involved with hiring. That's can make you an ally for them and make you someone that they are going to want to help for many years to come.

Lurching from job search to job search is a mistaken strategy. Thinking that you can just arrive cold and have people leap all over you and care about you and be competent, it doesn't work that way. Just like you haven't paid attention to recruiters for 10 years, suddenly if you disappear it. After this search is complete, they are not paying attention to you.

I have a new little job guide that's available for Kindle and that my website, www.TheBigGameHunter.us

It's called, "Get Ready for The Job Jungle." It's perpetration tips for beginning a job search. There is a good section there about care and feeding tips for recruiters. It's cheap. It is the let them try to get rich on this thing, you know?

Order a copy of my website or order a copy for your Kindle where he made a whopping $0.35 for this. I think it's a useful too


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for what more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1100 episodes,“ Job Search Radio,” “and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Visit www.TheBigGameHunter.us and click the relevant tab on the top of the page.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

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