Don’t Just Be Another Number With Recruiters

By Will Gowin


So many job seekers overlook a superb additional tool to aid in their active or passive search for a new career opportunity… recruiters or what some people call headhunters.  Even though there are some great recruiters out there, there are definitely some bad ones too.  Here is a tip when working with these guys.


Don’t just be another number.  A lot of recruiters are “just doing the numbers.”  That means they are filling their databases with candidates for the next job opening they might be trying to fill.  Sometimes staffing firms put general “job openings” on their website or other job boards just so their recruiters can collect people and fill their databases with individuals they typically place.  So, how do you deal with this?  You politely ask if they are filling a specific opening or are they looking to gather candidates for the next possible job requirement.  Ask them to be honest with you because they expect you to be honest in return.  This just helps to manage your expectations as well as let the recruiter know that you know what’s “going on.”


Being a recruiter for so long myself, it was refreshing to work with people that understood our industry, where you did not have to explain everything and field calls from individuals everyday asking, “you got a job for me”?  If the recruiter has a position that is a fit for you, it is to their benefit to contact you and go over the particulars.  That recruiter makes money if he or she gets you placed.


If a recruiter is just filling their database, it’s alright, give them the information they are asking for and make sure the recruiter has your updated resume, if they don’t already have it.  Be precise to what you kind of opportunity you are looking for, what kind of commute you can handle and what salary you would like to obtain.  Be completely honest about everything in your background and work history.  It’s going to come out in a background check or interview anyway and you might just burn a bridge with the staffing firm/ recruiter or a potential employer if you are not forthcoming.  If the recruiter knows everything upfront they can do a better job in matching you with a job opportunity and get you hired.

14 Responses to Don’t Just Be Another Number With Recruiters

  1. Remarkable issues here. I’m very happy to peer your article. Thank you so much and I am having a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

    • Hi Harry,This post makes me think of the hare and the totrsioe. This is totrsioe advice. The totrsioe wins the race.It’s critically important to always be working short-term AND long-term career strategies.Cheers,Donna

      • Harry,Nearly every week, conversations I have with job-seeking pros and exctieuves include their discussion around ‘finding a recruiter’ to help ‘them’ in their search.Thank YOU for providing a post that I’ve now bookmarked to help me help candidates better understand the recruiters’ needs, and how job seekers can position themselves as valuable assets to YOU. (And in turn, receive value BACK during their career transitions.)Jacqui (@ValueIntoWords)

        • Nice post Mitch You’ve made some good points there!Building reshniotlaips with recruiters and being considered as a real person not just a CV, is key to getting the outcome you want when looking for work.As a recruiter myself (and I’d like to think i’m a rather good one) I’m not into the CV whoring approach many agencies take. It’s unfortunate that many recruiters take a key words on CV match the keywords on job description approach and send out a stack of matching CV’s all at once. This leads to a whole lot of hopeful candidates thinking they’re in with a chance when the reality is they’ll never even get that call back to tell them if they were successful or not.The result of one client getting the same CV from two recruiters is obvious both CV’s go in the bin as Mr Client can’t be bothered fighting the agencies as to who did what and when no matter how good that candidate is.A good recruiter, with a focus on a particular market will certainly build reshniotlaips that are broader than his/her current requirements. They will certainly take the time to get to know the PERSON behind that CV and to finding out what is important to a job seeker (it’s ALWAYS more than just the money). This approach is about being proactive not just reactive. These reshniotlaips are like any other though they require both parties to work at it to get it right, to understand each other and to keep up the contact. I’ll often meet good candidates who aren’t right for things I’m working on now, knowing the right opportunity for them will arise in the future. Often this is a case of 6 months down the track but i’ve got many proud examples of when I’ve nailed it and introduced someone to their dream job.Keep up your good posts! You’ve certainly caught the eye of this recruiter!GD

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    • I am a recent MBA gtaduare, looking for employment with a pay increase and relocation. Could use some assistance with Resume, cover letters, tips or recommendations on job headers.

  5. Ken

    Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your blog and
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    • spencergray

      I am not on Twitter. Keep checking back for new posts, I will be updating frequently.

      • That’s a skillful answer to a diffcilut question

        • Chortle! Chortle! But really, it’s very sad. While some may have come from a prgaromming background, there are almost as many backgrounds/previous careers/other lives for tech writers as you can think of. Then there are those who have gone straight in to tech writing from school without having another career first. I guess your local Chapter of STC has a lot of work still to do with educating recruiters.