Re: FWD: Finding a recruiter

Subject: Re: FWD: Finding a recruiter
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 10:57:21 -0800

anonfwd -at- raycomm -dot- com wrote:
> Can anyone give me some pointers about choosing a recruiter - what should
> I look for/avoid? Also, can anyone recommend a recruiter in the Seattle
> area?

I've been in contact with 6 to 8 recruiters in the past five years,
so I have definite opinions about what to look for (but, then again,
when don't I?):

- The recruiters who have been most active on my behalf are
generally from smaller firms. Contrary to expectations, small does
not necessarily mean lacking in contacts. For example, IBM in Canada
has a list of recruiters that it prefers to use, and the list
includes a couple of local recruiters.

- It's usually a bad sign if the first thing that the company does
is ask you to fill out a long form, especially one that is about
computer technology in general, rather than about technical writing
in particular.

- It's usually a good sign if the first thing that the company does
is conduct a general interview with you asking about your career
ambitions. If this interview takes place at a large firm, then it
may be an exception to my first point.

- Good recruiters:
* work hard to make both you and the company happy with
arrangements. They're honest brokers
* usually take you in hand from the bottom up, discussing how to
best present you to the company, and, even suggesting how to make
the best impression with the particular person who will be
interviewing you.
* are honest about your chances, especially if a position is one
that you don't have all the qualifications for.
* follow up once you take the job, including visiting you on-site.

- Bad recruiters:
* are mostly concerned about their profit. They don't care whether
you are a good fit for the company, or the other way around.
* don't work with you to help you develop your presentation to the
* always pump each job as if you're the lead candidate, and submit
your resume for anything even remotely connected to your expertise.
* are hard to find after you land a job.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
604.421.7189 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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