Dear LolaCat –
Why should I work with a recruiting firm and what are the benefits to me when looking for a new job opportunity?
Thanks for your help, Curious Chris
I want to clear something up right away: curiosity has never once killed a cat. That is a horrible rumor that gets perpetuated over and over again. I’m glad you are curious as I happen to be the world’s most sought after cat when it comes to information about recruitment and job searching (and finding!).
Recruiting firms that specialize in your area of expertise can be a lifesaver for many reasons not the least of which is that they handle some of the tiresome details. I always let the experts do what they do best so I can focus on my favorite things like napping, eating, and dishing out pearls of wisdom from my penthouse.
Here are my top five ways recruiters make your life better:
1) They know resumes. Recruiters see resumes all day long and they know what works and what doesn’t. A hiring manager probably won’t have the time to read past your last position so let your recruiter reformat and prepare your resume to have the most job winning impact.
2) They act as your cover letter. Let’s face it; writing cover letters can be up there with having your wet food dry out in the bowl while you nap (yuck!). Having a recruiter sing praises about your super powers and charming personality is much better than wracking your brain over a cover letter. It’s their job to let the client know why you are the perfect match for their job and company. Naturally, it’s then your job then to live up to those expectations, but you can do that.
3) They prepare you for an interview. Your recruiter can’t go on the interview with you, (and I am sure if it were up to them, they would) but they can set you up for success ahead of time. They have the inside track on the company as well as the position so they can prep you in ways that you would never be able to on your own. They’ll know important things like if it will be a formal interview or a more conversational one and what skills the client is most interested in. Sometimes they might even know the actual questions you will be asked.
A job interview can make anyone nervous but with a recruiter, you have someone in your corner to support you and give you the preparation you need so you can stride through that front door like a cat that is queen of her domain. Calm and confident.
4) They negotiate the salary and benefits. Being a cat, I needn’t be concerned about this thing called ‘money’, but for humans it seems to be a big deal. The simple question of ‘how much will you pay me?’ can have even the most talented person squirming in their chair. When companies work with recruiters, the salary is discussed before your resume is even submitted. Your expectations should be right in line with those of the client and you can leave any of this ‘negotiating’ stuff to them. I never need to negotiate but I hear it can be a headache.
5) They get you exclusive access. In these days when there can be many, many applicants for a single position, some companies choose to work exclusively with recruiters. You will likely be exposed to positions you wouldn’t find otherwise.
Not sure how to work with a recruiter? I covered that in another column here.
At the end of the day, if you have an expert at your disposal, work with them. The road to your next position could be a wild and wooly one. Working with recruiters, (while also looking for yourself) will increase your exposure to exciting companies and wonderful opportunities.
Yours truly, LolaCat
Do you have a job seeking or office etiquette question for Lola*Cat? Send her an email: DearLolaCat@alanjblair.com