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.
They work for the employer who pays them. Many -- particularly external recruiters -- will go out of their way to help you, if they can, but do not expect them to do your job hunting for you.
To understand more about recruiters plus "sourcers" (a new kind of recruiter), read Understanding Recruiters.
The hiring manager, typically the person to whom the new hire will report, is usually the official decision-maker in the hiring process. Often, the hiring manager is advised by other members of the team who have interviewed the job candidates and also by the recruiter.
Probably the best place to start understanding how the process works is the section on How Recruiters Choose You, which contains these articles:
If you have some issues to overcome, these articles should help you with the most common problems:
Many more articles in this Guide are available to help you, and new articles are added frequently.
Jeff Lipschultz 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. See all of Jeff's articles in the section on the right (or below on your phone).
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 and a recent Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, 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 Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+.