Here is an article we put together about why a job seeker would choose to use a recruiter. I am sure there are plenty of things to add, so please leave your comments!
1. First and foremost, the service to the job seeker is typically free. A recruiter is literally a “no risk” opportunity from a cost perspective to help a job seeker find a new opportunity. I would caution against working with a recruiter that charges the candidate a fee. The industry model is that companies hire the recruiter or agency to provide talent for them. This cost is presented as a value added resource provided by specialists whose primary function is talent evaluation and delivery. In fact, many companies allocate recruiter fees in their human resources budget.
2. I always advise candidates to leverage the network for the recruiters with whom they may be working. This may be the best argument for seeking out a recruiter in a job search. Recruiters spend their days talking with candidates in the various industries, communicating with hiring managers at a variety of companies, networking in professional industry organizations, scouring job boards, business journals and reading about current industry trends. All of these activities expand and grow a recruiter’s professional network. This intellectual capital can be a significant benefit in matching a candidate with a company that meets their requirements by providing insight that would not otherwise be available.
3. Recruiters will often have a “heads up” about new opportunities before they are made public. Recruiters also have relationships with hiring managers that can help a job seeker get past the initial human resources barrier and directly onto the radar screen of the key decision maker. The resume portal or “black hole” as I call it, can leave a candidate wondering for days, weeks, even months if the right person has even seen the resume, let alone if they are even in consideration as a candidate. This uncertainty can be disappointing to say the least, and this is an area that a recruiter can be helpful.
4. Resume feedback. This is a question I receive regularly. Now I could spend an entire afternoon discussing the different types of resume formats, the pros and cons of each, and what method is the best. The truth of the matter is, there is really no right way, but there is definitely a wrong way. Who better to give you the feedback than someone who reviews literally thousands of resumes each year? Again, I would say to stay away from companies that charge a fee to critique your resume or even write it for you. Any recruiter worth their salt will be happy to advise you in this area as to what they see as effective in their respective market or industry. Remember, no one speaks better about you than you!
The fact of the matter is that a motivated job seeker can do a lot of work themselves. The benefit of a recruiter can be the difference between being a full time “resume submitter” and actually getting the opportunity to connect with a hiring manager. A good recruiter can get job seekers plugged in to opportunities before they are public, thus giving a distinct advantage. A good recruiter will know how to help a job seeker write a resume that will best convey their skill set to hiring managers. A good recruiter will be a value added resource and a business partner with a consultant mentality when helping job seekers navigate their way through the hiring process from interview to offer.