How To Land That First “Professional” Job – Recruiters

The focus of this post is on dealing with “3rd-Party” recruiters: those firms who strive to fill positions at companies with job openings. This is a very important avenue to consider in your job search!

In fact, 2 of my biggest career moves happened through a VERY GOOD recruiter who connected me with outstanding opportunities that I would have otherwise not known about.

Why do they do this? Because they are paid a handsome fee, from the company who hires someone through them.

Some 3rd-party recruiters are contracted by hiring companies to do the initial legwork of beating the bushes and qualifying candidates for their consideration. Others scour the net looking for job openings and then seek to “pitch” the candidates they have identified who may “fit the bill.”

While engaging with a 3rd-party recruiter or contract recruiting firm is an important channel to consider, as they may be able to open doors for you, proceed with caution: some are sharks…

The biggest piece of advice: Don’t disclose the opportunities (company names) you are pursuing on your own or via other channels. The reason: some of these firms would look at this as an opportunity to try to pitch their candidates, to that company, to fill that position. You have therefore just created more competition for the position you are applying for.

The “sharks” will try a number of tactics to pry this information out of you, such as:

  • “We need to know this information so that we don’t end up presenting you to a company you are already pursuing.”
    • Your response: “Let me know the companies you are presenting me to and I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen. You should feel comfortable with this since I would imagine our agreement is such that I cannot go around you to companies you will be presenting me to?
  • Throwing out a sentence / statement that is along the lines of: “Yeah, we know of an opportunity in the area that you’ve probably already heard about at…um…hmm…what was the name of that company?” They are hoping you’ll complete their sentence (and give away the company name).

In summary, maintain your posture and simply indicate: “I’m really sorry, but I don’t think this is necessary information or relevant to our discussion.

Bottom-line: There are some VERY good 3rd-party recruiters out there. If you are feeling overly pressured to give up the names of opportunities you are working, feel free to politely disengage with them. They have NO BEARING on your future.

Regardless, this experience will have served as another practice opportunity to engage with others about your job qualifications and search. So, if a recruiter contacts you, play it out!!!

p.s. – Fortunately, my son already knew about the sharks in advance of a recent meeting he had “in the tank” 🙂

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