By Stacey Wood, CTS, Manufacturing Recruiter
You haven’t found a job. You have a new cover letter, detailed resume, excellent references and recommendations. You have branded yourself, networked, and connected with others via social media and still nothing. Although the unemployment rate is slowly declining, if you are among those still searching for the right opportunity, perhaps it is now time to seek professional assistance.
Do Your Research. The first step is to research recruiters in your particular field. Connect with individuals you graduated with or professionals you worked with and admire, as well as the additional contacts you developed through social media like Linked In. It is quite likely that someone in your network has had success using a recruiter’s assistance and may be able to refer you to someone directly that can help with your search.
Send a resume. Once you have selected an individual or firm, it is acceptable to send an unsolicited resume. Recruiters review several resumes daily and can be utilized as a good source to educate you on improvements to your resume, as well as your approach. They may be able to offer specific advice about what your ideal company is looking for in a candidate. For example, if you are a recent IT graduate, perhaps you need additional JAVA experience to secure a position you have targeted. This data will enable you to redefine your job search or provide direction about additional training or classes you will need to reach that goal with companies you have targeted.
Honesty is the best policy. It is critical to have open communication with your recruiter. Be very specific about your goals and salary requirements. Perhaps your salary expectations are too high for the current market and this has kept employers from hiring you. A recruiter can help educate you in your field of expertise as to the reality of the current economic climate and help you redefine your expectations. Further, if you are open to a change in location, recruiters often partner with others nationwide and are far more likely to have access to contacts that you may not be able to secure on your own. Be advised, recruiters will not waste their clients’ valuable time submitting your resume for an opportunity you may not truly consider, much less accept. Be honest and open from the beginning.
Be patient. Despite what you may believe, you are not qualified for every opportunity you are interested in pursuing. You may argue, “I have a great attitude, a strong desire to learn, and can work effectively with a team or independently.” Sadly, these are qualities that all candidates claim to have. While those are great attributes, most organizations have combined several job duties into one role in an effort to save costs and remain competitive. They often need a candidate with a strong work history in their particular industry with experience in a number of very specific areas. A job posting typically does not include every detail of the job required. However, a recruiter will undoubtedly know more and has likely had success placing others within the organization. Further, they are familiar with the company culture. They will know whether an organization will consider a recent graduate if the salary requirements are right, or if they are open to folks re-entering the workforce. Their jobs are to find the best fit for the company. They are held directly responsible for any errors in those placements; thus, do not get frustrated if they do not share your materials for every posting you find interesting. They do not want to waste your time either offering false hopes and will know whether your resume will even be considered for the job.
In these challenging times, it only makes sense to use all resources available to you. Consequently, if you are frustrated and have exhausted all avenues, it may be time to consider using a recruiter. What do you have to lose?
*this post orginially appeared on Syracuse.com, where Stacey is a contributing blogger