Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

Helping Those Who Help Themselves

2010-08-30 12:10:38
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Being a recruiter, as you can imagine I get a lot of requests for help finding a job. You know that old saying, "God helps those that help themselves"? Take that saying to heart. What that means is that you need to self manage your career, your job hunt, your networking efforts. I am happy to help out by facilitating an introduction or passing along a job opening if I hear of it. I'll give a quick resume critique for friends. I'll happily accept a LinkedIn invitation, but I cannot generally "get you a job".

Last week I received an email and resume from out of the blue from someone that just moved to Seattle. A very close friend of mine had suggested she send me mail when she got here. Based on just our mutual connection, I am more than happy to help her out. But she is a fairly new graduate, and is lacking in business savvy. She wanted to know what jobs I might have for her.

So here is the thing. Recruiters specialize, we don't just all have hundreds of jobs lying around waiting to be filled in every single industry and job category. And for me to be able to help you at all, you need to have targeted a few companies, some potential opportunities, or even agencies (temp or direct placement) that you are looking to make a connection with. Right now, I'm looking for Product Managers in the tech field. And a couple of sales and marketing folks with very specific requirements. Prior to that I was looking for Project/Program Managers in technology and telecom. And before that it was health care profiles. My positions change fairly regularly, as do most recruiters'. It is important, if you are going to approach a recruiter, that you do it in a way that will be beneficial to both of you. You, by generating leads/connections and valuable insight to the industry. For the recruiter, it will be a maximization of his/her time and ability to help you. Recruiters recognize that helping you now may someday generate potential candidates or business, and believe it or not, most of us really do like helping people; if we didn't, we wouldn't be in this business.

So what is the best way to ask a recruiter to help you in your job search?

-Send a LinkedIn invitation. Make sure to reference how you know the recruiter; the worst thing you can do is send a blind invitation with no context.

Kristen, I saw that you have several connections at University of Washington in recruiting; I applied for a position as a CNA and I was hoping to follow up directly with someone. I was hoping you would be willing to forward an introduction.

-If you have a recruiter's email address, send an introduction.

Dear Kristen, I was given your name by John Smith, who you worked with at XYZ a few years ago. He and I know each other socially, and he thinks you might be a good resource for helping my efforts to find a job as a production manager in the aerospace industry. I'm looking at Boeing, Crane, and a few other companies. I'd really appreciate any suggestions you have regarding finding contacts in any of these companies. I've included a copy of my resume targeted to the aerospace field.

Thanks for your time, Jill Jackson

-Ask them if you could schedule a short phone call or meeting with them. Be aware of their time; if they are employed, they generally will have a short amount of time to answer your questions. For example the week before last I had a conversation with someone that wanted a job at Microsoft. I explained how Microsoft's process worked and how to apply. If you are meeting with a recruiter, make it convenient for them, not you. Today I made arrangements to meet someone I used to work with for lunch right near his office. I'm asking him for leads for openings I have, and wanted to make sure I am able to accomodate his schedule.

The very worst thing you can do is assume that a recruiter can just "get you a job", unless they have posted a job description with their name attached to it and an invitation to contact then regarding potential opportunities.

And if you find a recruiter that happens to be unemployed, remember that they still may know people. Treat them well and they are likely to remember it when they do have an opening.

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Hayim Abramson: Re: Helping Those Who Help Themselves
2010-09-15 20:24:19

I found your article quite clear and to the point. Good luck!
As for myself I teach Spanish and Jewish subjects.

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