If you’re on the job hunt or soon expect to be, you’re undoubtedly aware that you’re entering an ultra-competitive job market. Regardless of whether you’re a recent graduate and new to the workforce or a seasoned industry veteran, the level of talent out there is both impressive and intimidating—which is why you want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every tool in the job hunting arsenal in order to lock down your next career move.
One tool that you may or may not have considered are recruiters. These are individuals who are trained to meet the staffing needs of organizations across industries and job levels. They are skilled at funneling talent-rich groups of capable job recruits to the organizations who retain their services.
Some companies value recruiters so much that they have several working for them on a full-time basis. These professionals devote their time and effort to sourcing, engaging with, and attracting both active and passive potential candidates in an effort to cultivate an orbit of talent to turn to whenever an open position arises; other companies seek out the services of professional recruitment agencies when the need arises.
Depending on your industry and employment level, using recruiters to help you land your next job may be a solid strategy. Consider using the following tips and strategies to make the most of these valued resources during your job search.
Industry and job fairs
Many companies large and small, veteran and startup, make good use of job fairs in an effort to attract and engage with new prospective talent and help build their brand identities among their industry peers. You’ll find a range of opportunities to meet with recruiters at these events. The savviest job-seekers view these meet and greet opportunities as “mini initial interviews” of sorts:
- They come professionally dressed and polished
- They’re armed with their portfolios and resumes
- They work hard to make memorable and significant connections with recruiters who represent companies they’re interested in potentially working for
- They make sure to get business cards and/or contact information of the recruiters they interact with
- They follow up later on (in the form of thank-you emails and possibly LinkedIn connections) and make sure to get (and stay) on the radars of the companies that intrigue them
Keep an eye and an ear out for industry events and job fairs in your area. Joining professional associations and making the most of social media for professional networking, along with regular online research, are your best chances to learn about these events and register in time.
School career services
Are you taking full advantage of everything your alma mater offers in terms of career resources for new and future graduates? Most colleges, universities, and vocational schools have career service offices that are dedicated to helping their student bodies land valuable internships and jobs upon graduation—these resources are often made available to alumni as well. Many school career service offices work directly with recruiters at various companies, which can be key strategic pipelines for them. If they can recognize the value of these resources, then perhaps you should too.
Your school’s career office can help you make direct connections with recruiters, and can also keep you updated on upcoming job fairs and events. (Many schools organize these activities throughout the year, and you can count on recruiters attending). Don’t forget—your tuition pays for all of the student and alumni services that your school offers, so why not take advantage of them?
In addition to industry events, job fairs, and school career services offices, you can choose to connect directly with recruiters in an effort to land your next job. In addition to contacting the companies you are interested in directly (most companies these days have robust social media presences and career services portals on their websites that you can use to make key connections), there are professional recruitment agencies that specialize in placing individuals in open positions in various industries.
The Internet is your best friend here—do some online sleuthing regarding which respected and recognized recruiters specialize in your field, and consider making contact to see if they can help you achieve your career goals.
Here’s the bottom line—it’s true, you actually can get your next job by using a recruiter. Consider using the strategies and advice presented here to take advantage of this job-hunting resource and land your next great job.