I have been working for Lynne Palmer Executive Recruitment for more than 20 years, placing qualified professionals in nearly every sphere of the publishing industry, but I am still surprised by how frequently I'm approached by candidates who are confused by a recruiter's role in the job-seeking process. It's important to remember that a recruiter is not an agent. A recruiter's primary concern is not finding the perfect employer to match your needs as a candidate, but rather finding the perfect candidate to match the needs of the employers we work with.
So what does this mean for your job search? How can a recruiter help you? When you're in the market for a new job, you must choose the job-seeking tools that are best suited to your needs. Deciding to work with a recruiter can result in a hugely successful relationship. We want to make the right decision for all parties involved, and in order to find the perfect candidates for our clients, we need to maintain an open, communicative relationship with the job seekers in our database. This is the only way we can properly evaluate you and ultimately place you in the position you want. If you've decided to work with a recruiter, here are some basic guidelines to follow in order to best take advantage of our services:
1. Be patient. The first thing I tell people I work with is to remember to be courteous and professional, no matter who you're dealing with. Everyone is working hard. We want to place you, but looking for a job takes time. Trust your recruiter. We will call you if we find a position that suits you. If we don't call you right away, don't take it personally. It's impossible for us to initiate calls to everyone we've met.
2. Don't let other aspects of your job search falter. Continue with your own search. Keep doing whatever you've been doing, whether it's checking job boards, going to events where you can network, using connections, or even trying to work on a temp-to-perm basis. Let us know what methods you're using to conduct your search to avoid duplication.
3. Keep the lines of communication open. After you've made initial contact with us, keep in touch once in while as you continue your own search. Your best bet is sending us a quick email every so often to follow up. Although we're busy, it's helpful to send us periodic communications. This is especially true if your information changes. Keep us appraised of changes as simple as a new email address and as substantial as a change in location preference. If you've acquired a new skill that may add depth and desirability to your resume, be sure to let us know.
4. Be honest about your needs. The more recruiters know about you, the more likely they are to find a good fit. If you're offered a position that you don't feel is right for you, just let us know. And if you feel that things aren't moving in the right direction with your recruiter, call or email. Express your concerns. Remember that we're on the same team, and that we would love to find you a job.
5. Keep in touch. Follow the steps I've mentioned above, and if your collaboration with a recruiter is a success, try to maintain a relationship with your recruiter. We may be able to help you as you rise in your career. And even if we're unable to ultimately place you, we can still be an excellent career resource. Your recruiter can help you develop and shape your career by being a great sounding board and a career counselor during certain points of your career.
We have helped many people with our formula, and we have a history of making the proper match, from entry to senior level. As long as you go in armed with the tips I've offered above and with realistic expectations, working with a recruiter can end up being the best career choice you've ever made. I should know: I got started in this business with a job at Random House—a job I found through a recruiter!
Susan Gordon is the president of Lynne Palmer Executive Recruitment, which for 40 years has been helping publishing companies hire top-notch talent.