Recruiting For Your Next Job

Recruiting For Your Next Job

Cord Cooper

In today’s expanding economy, executive recruiters are back. In several industries, recruiters are as busy as during the high flying 1990’s.

“Talk with colleagues and friends who’ve worked with top search firms in your industry,” advised Smooch Reynolds, a noted recruiter and author of the “Be Hunted: 12 Secrets to Getting on the Headhunter’s Radar Screen.” Also “check on-line directories and trade journals.”

Dan Finnigan and Marc Karasu, executives with Yahoo HotJobs and authors of the new book “Next Stop, Corner Office,” advise you to raise your industry profile so recruiters will contact you. But that’s easier said than done.

Reynolds suggested going on the offensive. Depending on the industry and recruiting firm, a strong unsolicited resume can garner attention and produce solid results, she says.

The caveats? Make sure you skill set and the recruiting firm are an appropriate match. And once the resume is submitted, be politely persistent – not a pest.

Whether you contact search firms or they come calling, consider these tips when interviewing with recruiters:

Forget Lump Sums. When giving the recruiter your compensation figures, break them down by category: base salary, annual bonuses and stock options, Reynolds advises.

Be Upfront. Don’t inflate your salary to get a higher offer, Finnigan and Karasu say. Many recruiters check prospects’ backgrounds more thoroughly than employers. With recruiting fees that are often as high as on-third of a new hire’s salary, recruiters’ reputations are on the line with every prospect they send to clients. Any uncovered misstatements of fact, and your resume is doomed to the circular file.

When asked about employment gaps or other career downsides, offer reasons – not excuses, Finningan and Karasu say. Give clear explanation without blaming employers, co-workers or circumstances.

Keep it professional. The best recruiters represent prospects and client firms equally. You won’t score points by getting overly chummy with them.

Expect a challenge. Before recruiter and employer interviews, anticipate the toughest questions you could be asked, and have answers ready. Avoid sounding canned. Speak off the cuff.

Show how you boosted sales and profits in past jobs, how you overcame challenges or united your team around key goals.

When answering recruiters’ questions, don’t be afraid to ask a few of your own. Among them:

At what level do you normally place prospects in client firms? Who are your contacts in most firms? What you’re looking for are clues about the recruiters clout and past performance, say Finnigan and Karasu. Also ask for references; the recruiter will be asking for yours.

After the interview, be patient. Depending on the job and industry, a search can take several weeks or months.

Once you’ve landed a position, stay in touch, experts advise. At some point down the road, he or she could find a better spot elsewhere.