Don’t make this common mistake

If you’re thinking of engaging a third-party recruiter to help you with your job search, there’s ONE mistake that most people make that you want to avoid.

But, before we get to what that mistake is, there are a few things I want to clarify so all of this makes sense.

Because the recruiter works on commission on a retainer or contingent basis, they don’t get paid until they qualify and present a candidate to the employer who hires their candidate and the guarantee period is fulfilled.

It’s an “eat what they kill” kind of scenario so they tend to be very motivated by money and rightly so.

That means, they typically go for the “lowest hanging fruit” – those job vacancies they are confident they have a good chance of filling.

It’s a numbers game

Keep in mind that successful recruiters work on multiple searches at one time, knowing that they will fill maybe only 25% of them if they’re lucky. There might be a month or two when they make no placements which means they are under even more pressure the next month to really rock it.

Here’s the thing….

Unless you are a candidate who will fill one of those open positions, you have a better chance of getting hit by lightening or winning the lottery than getting a job this way.

Here’s the mistake

A lot of people think when they engage a recruiter that recruiter is working on their behalf and that this tactic is going to really amplify their job search success.

They aren’t AND  it doesn’t.

Here’s the truth

So, if you are thinking of using a recruiter you need to be aware of a few things:

The recruiter does NOT work for you – they work for the employer.

Who pays them?  The employer.

You are simply a commodity to be bought and sold. Unless you are a commodity that one of their clients wants to buy right now, the recruiter probably won’t be able to help you.

It’s not that they don’t care about you or they’re greedy – it’s just that you aren’t paying them to find you a job.

You need to be the “perfect” candidate

The employer is paying the recruiter to find the “perfect fit” therefore the recruiter will continue to search for that “perfect” candidate because they need to pay their mortgage that month.

“Perfect” candidates are usually those whom the recruiter head hunts – not the other way around. That’s why the chances of you being the “perfect” candidate for the searches they’re working on when you contact them is unlikely.

Now, that doesn’t mean that some recruiters might not market you to a prospective employer, but that doesn’t happen very often because this takes time which you are not paying them for.

They’ll only do this if they feel you are a strong fit for one of their key clients but there isn’t any guarantee there is a job opening. This would be more of “let’s see if the employer will hire someone like this” scenario. The chances of landing a job this way is very unlikely.

The recruiter might use your résumé as a way to approach employers they want to work with. Your résumé is essentially being used as a tool to make a sales pitch to secure a job order. The chances that you will get a job this way is even more remote than the previous example.

Does this mean you should never use a recruiter?


It just means that you don’t want to get your hopes up and think that by sending them your résumé to a recruiter it’s going to generate interviews even if you fall into their bandwidth.

In most cases, you will be put into a recruitment database and contacted only when they get a suitable job order which might never happen.

You can apply to jobs online but again, I don’t recommend you focus on this strategy either because it’s very hit and miss (mostly miss).

A much more effective job search approach is to focus on networking in your niche and set up informational meetings to uncover jobs.  

I talk about informational meetings in a previous article that you can read by clicking on this link.

I highly recommend you retain the services of a career professional to help you with creating your career marketing documents and to help you navigate through the whole networking strategy which can be really scary for most people.  Feel free to contact me here.

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Hi!  I’m Diana.

I leverage over 10 years recruitment and sales/marketing experience to create attention-grabbing résumés, cover letters, and Linkedin profiles that help job seekers stand out, get noticed, and get hired. You can learn more about my story here and about how I can help you here.

Need help? That’s what I’m here for!

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