When you decide to start looking for a new opportunity, you will likely begin to use three different methods of searching for jobs: leverage your network, search job boards, and reach out to a recruiter.
There are two types of recruiters, in-house and agency (out of house).
When you are working with an in-house recruiter, they are focused on filling roles that are currently available in their company. Certainly, if you build a good rapport with the recruiter, they can act as part of your network and help you find other job opportunities within their network (even outside their company). By adding them to your Linkedin network, you can dramatically grow your “2nd Level” contacts.
However, a key tactic is to connect with Agency Recruiters. An agency recruiter’s job is to build relationships with a number of companies and therefore, they will be working on a broad set of job opportunities. As you look to connect with agency recruiters, it is important to find people who are conducting active searches within your area of expertise.
You can do a little research on Linkedin and on their respective websites to find the right people to connect with as you expand your job search.
As you build your personal brand image, through building a robust Linkedin profile, starting a blog, joining organizations within your area of expertise, or other techniques, recruiters may reach out to you directly.
Even if you are not currently searching for a new opportunity, or if the opportunity they are trying to fill doesn’t interest you, it is good to build a professional relationship with the recruiter and offer to connect others in your network who might be interested.
You will find that many of these recruiters will be able to help you in your job search in the future – even several years down the line.
One thing to keep in mind, these agency recruiters are paid by the companies they work with on each search. While you may feel that you have built a good rapport with the recruiter, remember that there is a certain aspect of “salesmanship” on the recruiter’s behalf and they only get paid when they place a candidate in the role.
Therefore, it is important that you decide if the role is right for you (the right next step in your career, the right pay level, the right location, etc.). In the end, you need to go into the job search with your “eyes wide open”.
Because agency recruiters are paid when they place the candidate, they can offer some great advice. They can give you feedback on your resume, Linkedin profile, interview technique and contract negotiation.
They are dealing with candidates everyday and they see thousands of resumes each month. Therefore, they have a unique perspective that can be very beneficial to you.
Ultimately, connecting with the right agency recruiters can be a great step in your job search. You will find that by adding the right recruiters to your network can pay dividends both now and in the future.