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bad date

Career Hacker: Bad date, bad recruiter―aren't these the same thing?

September 24, 2014

After almost 15 years of recruiting, the metaphor that clearly encapsulates the complicated relationship between job seekers and recruiters for me is dating. Think about it: Does anyone look forward to subjecting themselves to the dating scene to find Mr. Perfect / Ms. Right? Does anyone look forward to working with (“dating”) a recruiter? I think the overwhelming answer is no, yet people do both every day all over the world. Why? I think it is the same reason for both: People are looking to fulfill their dreams.

I’m not a personal matchmaker so I can’t help you avoid a bad date / find the love of your life, but I do have some tips I can pass along to help you avoid “dating” a bad recruiter―and get you closer to landing that dream job. Recruiters, read these tips as well because they may save you from being a “bad date.”

1. The likelihood of finding your dream job in one call from a recruiter who saw your resume online is about the same as the chance of finding love after one night out in the dating scene. The key here is to have an idea of what your dream job looks like before putting yourself out there. 

The better you understand your dream job criteria, the more smoothly you can navigate the crazy job search scene.

2. Spend time getting to know your recruiter, their portfolio of clients and why they think you should allow them the opportunity to represent you to their clients. Finding the right recruiter—one who is prepared to go the distance with you—is critical to your career growth. 

So ask questions, do your research, talk to people who have worked with the firm before, know what you want in your next job and use the job search process to start a relationship with your recruiter and future employers.

3. Be cautious not to fall for the smooth-talking, highly attractive, hip first recruiter offer you don’t know much about. Most people don’t find true love in one night, so why would you think you can find your dream job with one recruiter call from a resume posting? Career fulfillment, just like love, is built over time through cultivating deeper relationships. 

Finding a recruiter you trust and partner with throughout your career is possible if you do your part to cultivate that relationship. 

Advice for recruiters

Recruiters out there, let’s do our profession the justice it deserves so people look forward to “dating” us. Here are a few tips so you won't become a “bad date” for your clients:

1. Listen to what job seekers want to do with their careers. Build trust with job seekers so they can share their true motivations and career goals. 

2. Care about your client’s goals so you can earn the right to have your clients put their career in your hands. Their goals should be your goals

3. Don’t love them and leave them. Become a valuable partner to job seekers throughout their career, not just so you can get a placement.

Like what you read? Read some of Wes's recent blog posts: 

The success-driven mindset

IT job seekers: How hungry are you?

Wes Claudio is a long-time IT recruiter who helped build the TEKsystems Consultant Retention Program and now leads delivery/recruiting operations in downtown Chicago. He believes jobs help give purpose to people’s lives and is passionate about helping clients achieve fulfillment through meaningful careers. In his spare time, Wes enjoys reading, running and being an active dad participating in a variety of activities with his three kids.

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