TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
I've always had reasonable luck with recruiters, but
I've leaned a few things. Primary amoung them is
"trust, but verify." I got my current position
through a recruiter who talked me into going on an
interview that I normally would have rejected, but was
feeling desparate at the time. And, I couldn't ask
for a better company to work for.
I *must* have flexible hours. I'm willing to work my
ass off to make deadlines, but my family situation
requires that I have flex time. I may not always make
40 hours in a week, but I get the job done in time.
I'm always up-front with this, because it is a
make-or-break requirement for me. I've had too many
recruiters say "let me handle this; don't you bring it
up" and then hang me out to dry when my employer and I
have differeing expectations, because I've assumed
that the recruiter has already done the sometimes
touchy negotiations that this requires.
It took being fired from two jobs (one of which I
loved) for me to realize what was happening: the
recruiters were telling me one story, and the employer
the other. Hence, I *always* mention my requirements
(and why it's a requirement, not smply a preference)
toward the end of an interview.
In one case, I know the misrepresentation was due to
lack of ethics; in the other, I'm pretty sure that the
recruiter was genuinely telling each of us what s/he
believed to be the true story... but was proficient in
lieing to his/herself.
moral of the story: recruiters can be a Good Thing,
but still, you never know.