How Interviewing with Recruiters Can Help Your Job Search

How Interviewing with Recruiters Can Help Your Job Search

How Interviewing with Recruiters Can Help Your Job Search

A Job-Seekers Guide to Interviewing with Recruiters

You’ve probably heard of “headhunters”, “recruiters”, and “search firms” by now. If you are new to the job market or a veteran looking to make a move to a new organization, you should know the distinctions between these types of firms. Typically, they are third-party organizations that help individuals find temporary and direct hire jobs. Here’s how it’s broken down:

  • Contract Recruiters: Typically, an employer will hire recruiters from a contract staffing firm to represent them in the recruiting and employment function. The recruiters have an arrangement with the organization to “place” contract workers at the customer site for a period of time, sometimes ranging from as short as a few weeks to longer periods, in some cases a year or more. This might be important information for someone applying for a contract position at a company.


  • Employment Agencies: Employment agencies work with companies that seek to hire professionals. The employment agencies submit resumes of qualified candidates to the companies, which interview the candidates and ultimately pay a fee to the employment agency if a selected candidate is “placed.” In most cases, the placement fee is paid by the company (client) working with the employment agency. In very rare cases, the candidate pays a fee to the employment agency to be placed at an organization. If you come across a job listing that does not include the phrase “fee paid”, be sure to ask who pays the fee before signing any papers. The types of positions that you might see a candidate paying a fee to an agency is retail sales, customer service representative, or a laborer position. These specific types of agencies can be found throughout the country.
  • Resume Referral Firms: A resume referral firm collects information on job seekers and forwards it to prospective employers. This information can be contained in resumes or on paper or electronic data forms. The employer, job seeker, or both might pay fees. You must give the firm written permission to pass your resume on to employers. Your permission should include a statement that expressly states to whom and for what purpose the information can be used.
  • Contingent Search Firms: A search firm contracts with employers to find and screen qualified applicants to fill a specific position. Contingent Search firm representatives will disclose to the candidate which employer they represent in the interview qualifying process. The fees for these firms are paid by the employer. The fee charged is either a flat fee equivalent to 20% to 30% of the candidate’s first year salary, or an hourly fee paid to the search firm to locate a qualified candidate. 






Questions to Ask a Recruiter


Here’s where you need to be a wise consumer. While third-party recruiters exist to help you in your job search, read all materials carefully before signing anything.  

Here are some general questions you may want to ask:

  • How many job openings are there for someone in my field? If you have the opportunity, inquire about the positions being filled or the number of openings related to your field. These are important questions because, in some instances, recruiters may not really have the type or number of openings they advertise. They may be more interested in adding your name to their candidate pool as a means of attracting more employers or clients to their services. Or they may be collecting resumes for future job opportunities.
  • How is this information being used? A third-party recruiter is legally allowed (with your permission of course) to share your resume with the contract employer for positions that you are actually seeking. The recruiter must tell you, in clear terms, that your materials and information will not be shared outside the organization or used for any purpose other than with the company they represent at the time they interview you. The third-party recruiter cannot sell your information to anyone else. You may choose to authorize the recruiter to share your data elsewhere, but your authorization should be given to the recruiter in writing.
  • Are candidates treated equally and fairly? If you are qualified for the job opportunity (after an interview screening of course), the third-party recruiter must pass your information to employers without regard to your race, color, national origin, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Who pays the placement services fee? Before you agree to anything or sign a contract, ask the recruiter who will pay the fee. He/she will normally tell you upfront who the fee is paid by, but you must ask anyway to be clear.


Posting Your Resume Online: Risks vs. Rewards

Posting Your Resume Online: Risks vs. Rewards

Posting Your Resume Online: Risks vs. Rewards

You can saturate the internet with your resume thanks to all these posting sites, but do you really want to? There are three issues to consider when posting your resume online.

1. Placement: Where should you post it?

2. Privacy: How public do you want it to be?

3. Length of time: How long will it be posted?

You’re probably thinking, “The more exposure I get, the better,” right? Not necessarily. Recruiters get tired of coming across the same resumes in every database they search. If you get labeled a “resume spammer”, you won’t be considered for job openings they are working to fill. Also, the farther your resume spreads, the less control you have over it and the more likely it is to be discovered by someone you had hoped wouldn’t see it, like your current employer. And yes, people do get fired because of this.

Some of these problems can be avoided by limiting where you post your resume and by limiting the amount of information in your posted resume. It is possible for your resume to be visible but private online, but how visible you want it to be is up to you.

A few safety items of importance that you should consider when posting to a career website, or distributing your resume to thousands of recruiters, are:

1.) Read privacy policies – These usually tell you how your information is collected and handled. Some sites sell your information to third parties, while others are pretty good about keeping your information private. There are even some job boards that don’t have privacy policies. I would be extra cautious, and look to find and read through their privacy policy to see if your personal information will be shared. I’ve heard cases where applicants started getting spam shortly after posting their resumes on job boards.

2.) Limit the amount of information you offer on these websites – Many job seekers fill out a form with their contact information, then cut and paste the whole resume into the box, forgetting they still have their contact information in the body of the resume. It’s up to you how much of this information you want to share.

3.) Limit where you post your resume – Post your resume only on a few of the more popular sites. This gives you maximum exposure for the geography, industry or type of company you selected.

4.) Don’t let your resume sit and get stale – Renew your profile information every couple weeks so it’s active and updated. Recruiters will look to see how long your resume has been sitting. But don’t keep refreshing your resume on the same sites if you’re not getting any job leads. If you are not getting any responses in a month or more, it’s likely that the job or industry you are posting for is in short demand, and you may need to post your resume on an industry specific job board. Or perhaps this particular site is not effective for your search and you need to try another site.

5.) Here is a list of job sites you could try depending on your occupation, industry and role.

6.) Modify the employment and contact information you put on your resume – If you have to create an e-mail address dedicated to your job search, check it constantly for responses. Try not to get too fancy with your job-hunt e-mail address. Keep it simple and not overly complex, and remember this is a representation of you. I’ve seen e-mail addresses that are surprisingly crude and unprofessional. Here are some acceptable, yet creative, examples:,

7.) Know who is running the website – Even if a website looks professional and legitimate, I would still look into who is running it or owns it. It could be a staffing or consulting company looking to build a candidate pool for their openings. Most recognized boards are legitimate, and are transparent with candidates about the ownership and structure of the business. The legitimate sites will likely have a physical address along with names of officers or executives who run the company.

8.) Limit the information you provide – If you’re new to the site and have never posted your resume there, limit the amount of information you provide, such as schools attended, name, email, etc. There’s a good chance you might get some spam, so pick an email you don’t use much, but one you can check to see if there are any new job opportunities that come from this job board. Note that in the registration process you’ll likely be asked if you want to be added to an email list of new job opportunities that get posted on a daily or weekly basis.

9.) Decide if you want your resume to be viewed by the general public – While in the registration process, make sure to check off the appropriate boxes if you want your resume accessible to recruiters and employers. This will probably depend on whether you are working and want access to more opportunities or just passively looking to see if there’s something out there that may be of interest to you. Here’s another article to consider when posting to job boards or social media.

10.) Delete your profile when your job search has ended – Leaving your resume on these sites long after you find a job can create problems if your current employer comes across your resume. Delete the profile as soon as you accept a position.

For other job related statistics and relevant data, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics website at