RE: question about recruiters (plus a little venting)

Subject: RE: question about recruiters (plus a little venting)
From: Stephen Arrants <sarrants -at- roidirect -dot- com>
To: 'John Prince' <JPrince -at- e-talkcorp -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 09:55:24 -0700

John Prince [mailto:JPrince -at- e-talkcorp -dot- com] asks:

> My question: does anyone have some savvy ways to deal with
> recruiters. I am
> biting my lip from becoming rude with some of them - simply
> because I am not
> used to dealing with them. How do you convey to them that you
> are *only* looking
> for a certain salary range and you are *only* looking for full-time?

Congratulations. You are experiencing the tightest job market I've seen in
20 years. Technical writers, editors, content specialists, and the like can
pretty much write their own ticket in this market. You are a six course
meal for these hungry recruiters. (An aside...I needed to hire a writer,
and worked with a recruiting firm...each contact with someone from the firm
also included a plea to me to go work for one of their other clients.)

Some tips I've found useful:
1. Be firm, not rude. Recruiting is a small world. A reputation for
flakiness or rudeness can get around.
2. Learn how to say "No." Just because you turn down a contract offer
doesn't mean that the recruiter will file your resume in the trash.
3. Don't be afraid to contract. Contracts offer the chance to make
contacts, learn new software and processes, and can often lead to
full-time/perm. work. Many recruiting firms also offer benefits such as
401(k), health insurance, etc.
4. Remember that they most likely haven't read your entire resume. They
probably only read the buzzwords--"HTML" "Microsoft" "RoboHelP" etc.
5. A skill listed as "necessary" or "required" often means "Gosh it would
be nice if you had this but we're willing to train you if you many or all of
the other skills we need." Be honest at the interview with the client,
6. Be honest with the recruiter. If you really don't want to work
documenting hardware, tell the recruiter. The more information you give the
recruiter, the better he can find you a position that makes you happy, makes
the client happy, and makes the recruiter profitable.

A good recruiter is like an old friend--out of the blue they'll call with
good news (they'll ask you for a referral, let you know about new openings).

steve arrants

Stephen Arrants
Manager of Technical Communications

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