Re: QUESTION: headhunter etiquette

Subject: Re: QUESTION: headhunter etiquette
From: Tom Campbell <tomcampbell -at- EUDORAMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 14:48:13 -0700

I agree with both Elna and Kevin. Technical service agencies ("headhunters") would be out of business if they weren't able to present good job candidates to their clients. So they need you at least as much as you need them.

I've never had the experience of having two different agencies present me for the same job. They've always checked with me before submitting my résumé anywhere.

If one says "We've got an exciting opportunity at Acme Widget Co." and I know another agency either has submitted or may be submitting me there, I tell them so, thank them for their time, and ask them to keep me in mind for other assignments.

There's some great advice about all this and more in the excellent "Making Money in Technical Writing" by Peter Kent (

Kent advises sending your résumé to every agency in your market. I have done this, and it was an eye-opening experience. (I sent them a mailing that asked them to call me if they came across any opportunities that seemed appropriate for someone with my qualifications, so there was little risk that they would just submit me for a job opening without my knowledge.)

By talking to people from a lot of different agencies, I've been able to evaluate the agencies just as they're evaluating me. I've gotten a much better feel for the market where I live (Atlanta), and I've also learned which firms seem more professional and are likely to have opportunities that would interest me.

Good luck with your job search.
Tom Campbell
tomcampbell -at- EUDORAMAIL -dot- COM
"It's as large as life
and twice as natural!"
--Lewis Carroll

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