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Guide to Working with Recruiters

By Susan P. Joyce

Job seekers frequently ask me for help connecting with a recruiter they can pay to find them a job. In the USA, that's not how recruiters typically work.

Job seekers need to understand two important things about recruiters.

1.  Recruiters, no matter how friendly, do not work for the job seeker.

They work for the employer who pays them. Many will go out of their way to help you, if they can, but do not expect them to do your job hunting for you.

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2.  There are many different kinds of recruiters, but they all fall into one of two major categories:

  • Internal recruiters (also known as "in-house").
    They are employees of the employer they represent, paid a salary by the employer.

  • External recruiters (also known as "agencies," "independent" recruiters, "headhunters," "search consultants," or "sourcers" depending on how they work and how they are paid).
    They are employees of recruiting or "staffing" firms or agencies usually helping many different employers find employees.

External recruiters may specialize in a location, a profession, an industry, a job level (like top executives), a search technology/method, or a combination.  Some firms focus on helping employers find employees for temporary assignments, often called "temping agencies" or "contracting agencies" which may specialize in a location, profession, etc. 

Jeff Lipschultz, Job-Hunt's Working with Recruiters Expert, is an external recruiter, a partner in the firm, A-List Solutions, and an avid biker.  Jeff will help you understand how to work with recruiters, mostly from the external recruiter's perspective, but with a great understanding of both job seekers and hiring managers in many different industries and professions.

To understand more about recruiters plus "sourcers" (a new kind of recruiter), read Understanding Recruiters.

About the author...

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. Since 1998, Susan has been editor and publisher of Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.


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Guide to Working with Recruiters

Handling Special Situations:

How Recruiters Work:

How Recruiters Find You:

Why Recruiters Choose You:

How to Impress a Recruiter:

More Tips for Working with Recruiters:

More Information:

Working w/Recruiters Expert: