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How to Find Your Next Job (A Recruiters Perspective) (Part 1)

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As a recruiter, I feel fortunate to know how some of us recruiters operate when seeking out candidates to fill an opening. So, in essence, I am armed with that intelligence when I am seeking a better opportunity for myself. Today, I want to give you a peek into my perspective on the best things a candidate should, and shouldn’t do, to help them in their job search. Now, keep in mind, this is my perspective, as someone with a mere 10 years of experience recruiting in a corporate setting.

***Disclaimer:*** The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are MINE and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of pretty much anyone else.

Let’s dive right in!

The first thing I WOULDN’T do is get locked in with an agency (headhunter) for representation. I think there are definitely times and situations for candidates to engage with an agency for representation (i.e., When an agency has exclusive rights to a position you are dying to be hired for). For me, it’s not typically at the start of my job search though. I would also say you should read the fine print, when and if you engage with an agency. Sometimes you get locked in and have a waiting period before you can pursue other jobs with specific companies. This can be limiting for you and the employer who would be required to pay the agency fees.

Okay, so that is one of my ‘do not’ recommendations. So, you ask, what SHOULD I do to secure a better opportunity for myself?

Step one for me is getting organized. IF I am serious about my search; and not just having a bad day and ticked off at my boss, (yes, we ALL have those days) the first thing I want to do is ask myself several questions.

1. Who are my target companies?

2. Would I relocate for the right opportunity? If no, what are all of my 'local' options?

3. What will it take for me to make the change? (Typically, it's not just about the money. It's about the career path, job stability, the new team I'd be working with, etc.) I know you are thinking it though... and YES, money does still talk.

This is not an all encompassing checklist, but you get the idea.

Once I know my target companies, then what? Do I restrict myself to these few, or do I keep my options open? I happen to be a “Keep My Options Open” kind of girl, but my guess is, at various levels this may be different for each individual.

The next KEY thing I do is simple…but you’d be amazed at the results. **Update your LinkedIn* Profile.** You’d be amazed at how many MORE searches you turn up in with just a few simple updates here and there. It also doesn’t hurt for you to have an ‘almost resume’ posted. What I mean by that is do not just list a title: Digital Design Engineer at XYZ Company. That’s great and all, but what exactly do you do? What tools are you familiar with? Have you acted in a leadership capacity? We recruiters LOVE LinkedIn, but we only get out of it what you put into it.

What is LinkedIn? Wait, you don’t already know?!? It’s free. And it’s like a HUGE job board, but so much more, because not only does it have ACTIVE job seekers, but also people who don’t even know they are LOOKING for a job until I talk them into it. In 2008, I had huge number of hires for the year, and I attribute at least 50 percent of my hires to LinkedIn. Whether it was a candidate I sourced directly from the site, or a referral from a connection I have on there, I have had a lot of success with it. I would say that if you are not already on LinkedIn, check it out! In a nutshell, it’s like a Facebook for connecting on the professional side of your life.

My next piece of advice would be this. Take your list of target companies and seek out the appropriate recruiters on LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter, or any other Social Media channel you are familiar with. You want to work for Intel? Find staffing contacts at Intel. Be selective though. There is nothing worse than getting the same “canned” email from a candidate that all 22 of my other colleagues got as well. I especially love the ones that address me as ‘Dr. Peery’. (No, I am not a doctor. No where ANYWHERE on the Web would you find anything to indicate I am. Kind of has a nice ring to it though, no? ) I think most recruiters give you a feel for the type of positions they are supporting in their LinkedIn bio. Find the one working the positions of interest to you and reach out. If they publish an email address, it usually means they would LOVE for you to reach out. If they don’t respond, then move on to the next.

That’s a lot of information I just shared with you. Here’s a summary:

- Avoid getting locked in with an agency/headhunter (unless they have rights to your dream job!)

- Get organized! Start a checklist of what you want or don’t want in your dream job.

- Update your LinkedIn profile

- Find the ‘right’ contacts at your target companies

I’ll let that information simmer with you for now and then share the rest of my tips (of course I have more!) when I return from my vacation in London!