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Kari Gulbrandsen asked about "tech writing recruiters"
"I am hoping to get some advice about job recruiters. ... I am being contacted multiple times for the same position. ...I would like to go with a recruiter who will be able to do me the most good or who I can develop a relationship with. ...or should I go with the first person who contacts me about a position?
Over the last 20 years, contract agencies and how companies work with them have changed a lot. If you know any agents or agencies who have previously found you a job, and treated you well, send them an updated resume and tell them what kind of job you are looking for, and how far you care to commute. Companies used to have short lists of preferred agents that they used for all their contract hiring. Federal and State agencies, however, have to be nondiscriminatory, and accept candidate submissions from any agent who wants to submit someone, which is why 50 agencies seem to be calling you at once for the same opening.
Now the job market is full of one-person internet agencies working out of their homes (some of them actually overseas) and chasing any opening and/or candidates that they find on the internet.
Also, over the last couple of decades, the bigger agencies are getting bigger by buying up smaller regional or specialty agencies to create recruiting conglomerates with offices in most major cities across the country. Reputable agencies all have web sites that describe the types of services they provide, what kinds of jobs/skills they source, how they work with client companies and job seekers, etc. I do recommend Pro-Edit and Prospring, the Allegis group (which includes AeroTek and TekStystems), Randstad (which just merged with SFN group, and now includes Spherion and Technisource), and Matrix. I have a list of at least 100 agencies I've dealt with just in the last couple of years, but the field keeps changing all the time.
Go with you gut. If you get several contacts about the same job, check them out online, and reply to the one you think you would be happy to work with. If an agent is very pushy and pestering, go with someone else. It may be discriminatory, but if I can't get somene with highly accented English to slow down on a phone call so that I can understand them, I do not want to work with them long-term. When someone calls me about a job, I ask for an email with all the details in writing, and then check out their web site, LinkedIn profile (if provided), and Google them for good measure.
Do set up a daily job-alert on Indeed.com. They pull job postings from other job boards, many agencies, and company, government, and academic job postings that may not hit the job boards you already know about. When you find appropriate listings, even if they are out of your area, follow them to their originating site and set up an addditonal job alert on that job board or company website. The more places you get notifications from, the more garbage you'll get, but you will also find more good opportunities. And all the recruiters (good and not-so-good) are all looking for your resume on the online job boards, and on LinkedIn.
Margaret Cekis, Johns Creek Ga
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