Category: Recruiters

How Recruiters Search Using LinkedIn & What We Look For

So much has been written on the importance of a complete and compelling LinkedIn profile.  I am currently working on two searches for which I am extensively using LinkedIn to source candidates. From what I have seen, one would think that LinkedIn is either a new or non-essential tool. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the last two weeks, I have looked at well over three hundred profiles on LinkedIn. Only one thought comes to mind and I hope I speak for most recruiters (internal and external) when I say, “What a major disappointment!” or “Now I understand exactly why so many candidates are in transition so much longer than necessary.”

I firmly believe that most profiles are viewed, and then passed over time and time again. Most  LinkedIn members who are looking for a position don’t even know how many times someone has reviewed their profile and never contacted them simply because their profile completely, “SUCKS.”

Profile after profile indicated “open to being contacted for career opportunities,” but the profile wouldn’t even include the person’s name!

If that isn’t  ridiculous enough,  my favorite examples are the ones that state in the headline, “Unemployed or Actively Seeking a New Position.”  One would think that since this person took the time to announce to the world that they are in transition, that they would at least upload their resume. But “NO.”   OK,  surely they will at least complete their profile so people reviewing it will know what they do?  Nope, why let recruiters and others searching for candidates have this information?

Give me a break,  do they expect me to engage them based on their picture? Are recruiters supposed to just know this information via osmosis?

Here is how I search for candidates on LinkedIn. I hope this will help you as well as help recruiters help you.

  1. I start out using the advanced search feature for people.
  2. I want to throw a wide net.  My goal is to be inclusive at this point, rather than to exclude someone.
  3. I usually start with just a few criteria. Generally, title, location (I use zip code and 50 mile radius), industry and function. That is it.
  4. There are exceptions to this but this is the starting point.
  5. I leave all other fields set to the  “All . . ” category in the drop down boxes. Meaning search all my groups, search in and out of my network, etc. I want a wide net.

Generally, hundreds of profiles appear. Now the search really begins, as does the frustration.

I begin scanning through the summaries of the profiles that appear. There is not a lot of information in the summary but enough to give the reader a good idea of whether it’s worth it to view the person’s full profile.

So often there is no need to even review a person’s profile. I can tell just from the summary that the information on the profile is either missing or completely worthless. For example, no picture, no name, no companies listed, vague titles, no contacts, background missing, no work history, etc. Yet, they want to be contacted for career opportunities.

Once I start looking at the profile, I usually decide in about 10-20 seconds if I should click out or read on.  So many profiles are so incomplete that I wonder why this person even took the time to post a profile. What exactly were they expecting when they posted this worthless profile?

I also look at the picture to see if it is professional or one that will embarrass me for referring the person if my client views it. That’s assuming there is a picture at all.

I then begin looking for the box checking stuff my client is requiring such as education, experience, current or past titles, years of experience, level, etc. You can read more about this in an article I wrote, “How Recruiters Read Resumes In 10 Seconds or Less.” Click here if you are interested.

I also look for recommendations and may read some. What are others saying about you? If nobody is willing to say anything good about you, it certainly isn’t a knock out, but I am curious about that.

I will also scroll down the profile summary and work history, and if a resume is uploaded I will review it. Rarely is a resume uploaded. Most of the time this is where it ends. The profile is so incomplete, the work history so brief, the description of work so worthless, that I can’t figure out what they were responsible for.  The profile has little or no company information, so I have no idea if their past companies were even in the right industry. Finally, the summary at the top is meaningless. Most don’t even include specialties.

I scroll to the very bottom and sure enough they want to be contacted regarding career opportunities. Some are even helpful at this point and will say, “Prefer to be contacted on my cell phone.” or  “Please use my personal email address.” Neither of which are included in the profile. Hey, I can’t make this stuff up.

GOODBYE. I have better things to do and a lot more people to consider.

This person probably just lost a great opportunity, or at the very least an opportunity to discuss a position. Even if they aren’t interested,  just knowing what is going on in their market is helpful. Just getting a feel for comparable compensation is a good data point for anyone to know.

The lunacy doesn’t end here. At least 50% of  these people are not working. Their work history will be 2007-2009.  What planet are they on? I’m sure they are frustrated, and complaining about how long they have been out of work and how bad the market is. This may be completely true, but they aren’t helping themselves with their profile.

If this search fails to produce viable candidates, I will go back and change the title or industry and try again. Not necessarily change the search, just some of the criteria. I’ll try to throw a wider net in a different part of LinkedIn’s membership.

Finally, I may eventually search by company name. If I know of a specific company that is right, I will search using the company name. That brings up all of the people that are currently working for this company or have in the past.

This is why your complete and compelling profile is so important on LinkedIn.  In today’s world, the search for candidates so often starts on LinkedIn. The sad part is, it also often ends there too.

Take away nothing else from this article but this one thing: In today’s market, companies (right or wrong) are looking for the kings and queens in their field, not the jack of all trades. If your profile doesn’t shout out loud and clear, “I’m an EXPERT,” you may be missing opportunities. Sadly, this happens and it is so easy to fix.

On March 26th we are having a webinar on how you can leverage LinkedIn to find your next job. We believe this is the most comprehensive webinar we have seen on this topic. We’ll have over 35 slides (we’ll give you all the slides) on how you can build a compelling and complete profile. We will show you step-by-step where the tools are and how you can use them to be the “EXPERT.” These slides and the audio recording of the webinar are included. If you want a profile that puts you in the top 10%, then you should CLICK HERE to learn more.

At a minimum you should download our 8-Level LinkedIn Self Assessment Profile. This tool is a great start towards building a great profile. CLICK HERE to get yours. It is 100% free.

Finally, if you are on LinkedIn, join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. There are more than 4,800 members in the group. It is one of the fastest growing groups on LinkedIn that focuses on job search issues. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard

How Would You Rate Your LinkedIn Profile?

I recently asked this question on LinkedIn, “How would you rate your LinkedIn profile?” The choices were, poor, fair, good or very good. I wasn’t referring to completeness based on the LinkedIn scale. I wanted to know how you would rate your profile based on how good or compelling it is.

Would a recruiter, HR professional, or hiring authority be so impressed that they can’t wait to contact you? That is the goal of a LinkedIn profile. Why else would you have one if you are in a job search?

So that is my question to you, “How do you rate your LinkedIn profile?” We would really like to know.




Very Good

Now the really important question, “How would you rate your resume?” Let us know that too. Just simply send us a comment. You can do that at the bottom of this article.

Did you rate them both the same? Most rate their resume good to very good and their LinkedIn profile poor to fair. WHY?

Both of these are marketing documents. That is all a resume is. It is put together to market you. In our best selling job search workbook,“This Is NOT The Position I Accepted” we don’t like to use the word “resume.”  Rather, we prefer to call it your Personal Compelling Marketing Brochure.

Your LinkedIn profile is your online marketing brochure. It must sell you. Your profile can be even more compelling than a resume because of all of the added features LinkedIn allows you to add to your profile. Most are not possible on a resume.

So here is the next set of questions, “How many hours have you dedicated to developing your resume?” My experience is that most candidates spend hours not only developing their resume, but revamping it, changing it, redoing it, updating it, and so on. For many, this is a never ending process.

OK, so then, “How many hours have you dedicated to developing your LinkedIn profile?” We would really like you to be completely honest and answer these questions. Just add your responses to them in the comment box at the bottom.

Still  not convinced about why you need a great and compelling profile on LinkedIn?  Here are some additional reasons that might convince you.

  • For my last three placements, all of the candidates came directly from LinkedIn.
  • Two clients recently told me they hired mid-level sales people directly from LinkedIn.
  • Before posting an open position on a job board, most recruiters go to LinkedIn first.
  • I’m currently working on two searches and I found all of the candidates using LinkedIn.
  • LinkedIn now has over 45 million users.
  • More and more internal recruiters and HR professionals start their searches on LinkedIn.
  • Companies can save thousands of dollars searching LinkedIn versus searching resumes on a job board.

Given all of this, would you reply to a job posting with a fair resume? Would you expect a call back from a hiring authority or recruiter if your resume was “fair?”

If your LinkedIn profile isn’t better than your resume, you are leaving a very valuable tool in your tool box. When I’m coaching job seekers, one of the first items we work on is their LinkedIn profile. It is not uncommon that within two weeks of completing the profile makeover for these candidates, that they start receiving inquiries.

So let us hear from you regarding how you responded to these questions. We are really interested.

Don’t know how to build a great profile?

Get a FREE LinkedIn Profile Assessment. To help you build a great LinkedIn job search strategy, we are having a webinar on March 26. This webinar will ensure you not only have a great profile, but in addition, teach  you how to find contacts, how recruiters use LinkedIn, and how to ensure that if someone comes to your profile that you are positioned as the expert.  CLICK HERE to learn more.

Also, Barry and I have had extensive discussions regarding LinkedIn on our weekly radio show that airs every Monday at 11 AM PST at on channel 2. We add all of these recordings to our audio library. These recordings are free for you to listen to or download. CLICK HERE to review our audio library.

Finally, consider joining our LinkedIn Job Search Networking Group. There are more than 4,4oo members, and a wealth of articles and discussions to help you in your job search. CLICK HERE to join.

Brad Remillard

How To Get Recruiters To Reply To Your Resume

I know this is one of the major complaints by candidates. I hear it all the time, “I send them my resume and they don’t reply. Most won’t even return my phone call.”  As difficult as it is to say, for the most part these candidates are correct. That doesn’t mean it is right, it just means you are correct.

Similar to most at the manager level and above, when you are working, you are generally overwhelmed with things to do. So you have to prioritize. Some things are high priority and some things go on the low priority list. The low priority items may never get done, or may get done in the next few months. Generally, this depends on what other higher priority items trickle in.

Recruiters are really no different. We have to prioritize our day. Some things are high priority and other things are low priority. If  you want to engage recruiters, your job when working with or contacting them should be to move up the priority list. Knowing how I, and many other recruiters prioritize, might help you do this.

Here is how I set priorities regarding the basic duties as a retained recruiter.  Contingent recruiters might vary slightly, but when I was a contingent recruiter it wasn’t a whole lot different.

High priority:

  1. Clients always come first. So some might ask, “Who is your client?” The company paying my fee is the client, not the candidate. Therefore, the company has first priority on my time. That means I will return their phone calls before a candidate’s, I will meet with them prior to a candidate, reply to their emails first,  and screen resumes they send me first.
  2. Candidates on an active search. These are candidates that I’m actively working with on an existing retained search. They could be at any stage within that search which includes, recruiting ones I have identified, interviewing them, returning their calls or emails, reviewing their resume, meeting them, scheduling interviews, following up after an interview, compensation discussions, reference checking, or basically anything I need to do to move the candidate and the search to the next phase.
  3. Marketing. The next priority for me is marketing. This is meeting with clients and potential clients, attending networking meetings, and making sure I’m out in the market so that when a search comes up I’m the one that gets the call. When that call comes, refer to number 1 above.

Important but not a high priority. These I try to get to by the end of each day. Sometimes they spill over to the next day, but I usually try to complete these within 24 hours.

  1. Returning emails not related to a search from people I know or have worked with in the past. These are generally people updating me on their search, prior clients with a question, a request unrelated to an active search, general emails, and clearing SPAM. Sometimes I don’t get to these until the afternoon. I scan down the “sent from” and subject lines, and when I see someone I know I will read the email and then reply appropriately.
  2. Reply to emails and return calls that are a referral. If someone is referring a person to me, I will always reply. I respect the fact that they have taken the time to do this. I feel I owe the reply out of respect to the referring source.
  3. Return voice mail calls. Basically the same as above. I listen to them and clients get an immediate call. Anything to do with an active search gets a call. Others I evaluate and make a decision on what to do with them. Refer to low priority below for many, not all, of these calls.

Low Priority:

  1. Return emails from those I don’t know. This is one of those low priorities that tick many candidates off. The good news is that you have a much higher chance of getting a return email than a phone call. I often try to catch up on these on the weekend or at night. Because of the large volume of these, I’m often two weeks behind.
    1. If you are just sending me an unsolicited resume, I may or may not reply to you. Generally not. I may take a look at the resume to see if it fits an active search. Probably less than 50% of the time I reply. This is why I preach, tweet, and blog,  DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON A RESUME SERVICE THAT WILL SEND YOUR RESUME TO 1,200 RECRUITERS. Save your money as most recruiters don’t even look at them. I doubt more than 5% of retained recruiters do.
    2. If the email is just to introduce yourself to me with no referral,  I will probably just delete it. What else can I say? Like me or hate me, that is what will happen. (If it makes you feel better, then “yes” I spend hours late at night reading the hundreds of unsolicited resumes I receive on a weekly basis).

Lowest priority. So low that I have to be bored and/or very lonely to take action. I’m desperate to just talk to someone and my wife and kids are all busy. I have probably already called every person in my contact list, any tech support that I can possibly think of, and if it’s the only way to get out of having to watch Driving Miss Daisy or The English Patient, I will claim I have to return these phone calls.

  1. These are the  voice mails that simply say, “Hi Brad, this is (fill in the blank) please call me at (fill in the number. I probably don’t even recognize the area code).” or “Hi Brad, this is (fill in the blank) I just want to introduce myself to you. Please call me at (fill in the blank).”  I will apologize now to all of those I have offended. Sorry, if I didn’t return your call.  It is just that I don’t have the time, and I rarely can help you.  I know each call is going to take 5–10 minutes, and in the end, I can’t do anything for you. I used to make a list of these calls. When time permitted, I would work my way down the list but over time the list just got too big. For every 3 calls I returned, I added 5 or 6. I stopped adding to the list when it exceeded 100 calls to return. Sorry, but this many calls to return just isn’t possible. Heck, it is hard enough to reply to that many emails.

It isn’t personal, and please don’t take it personally, when recruiters don’t get back to you. Most recruiters are not trying to be rude, but as I said in the first paragraph, we only have so many hours, just like everyone else, and we have to manage our time too.

My guess is that most managers, when working, don’t have time to return calls from all of the sales people that call. My guess is that you also don’t return unsolicited calls you receive at home.

My hope with this article is two-fold:

  1. The most important of all is to save you money by discouraging you from using a resume blasting service. They are easy to find and often may even call you. When they do call you, do me and yourself a favor, DON’T RETURN THEIR PHONE CALL.
  2. Give you a path to getting to recruiters. Knowing the path of least resistance should help you. If you can’t get in the highest priority group, you may be able to move into the important but not high priority group. All this takes is some time and getting a referral. Most candidates are capable of getting a referral given all the networking tools available.

You can download for free many tools and resources from our Web site. For example, you can download a sample thank you letter. CLICK HERE to download.

If your search is stalled, you can download an 8-Point Job Search Assessment Scorecard. Use this to identify the areas in your job search that may be causing you to be stalled. CLICK HERE to download.

Finally, if you are a member of LinkedIn, you should join our Job Search Networking Group. Over 4,400 people have. It provides an extensive amount of resources and articles for you to take advantage of. CLICK HERE to join.

I welcome your comments and thoughts.


Don’t Be the Candidate Screened Out by a Recruiter’s First Question

Candidate being REJECTED after the first interview question - Don't let this happen to you

In my last blog post, I described how the best recruiters screen out the vast majority of candidates for their search assignments through one simple question.

Don’t be the one who gets screened out in 30 seconds.

Many times these are great opportunities the recruiters are working on – you’re the perfect candidate for that appropriate position – you definitely do not want to miss out.

What can you do?

I’m going to suggest that there is a simple approach you can use to prepare for interviews, and it mirrors the cover letter strategy.

If the advertisement does not point out precisely what is required in the position, you can make the fair assumption that there are 3-4 primary elements to every senior professional, managerial, and executive position. Putting your comparable accomplishments to each of these core elements of a position in the cover letter, and being ready to address them in the interview is an insurance policy against being screened out prematurely by recruiters.

Let’s run through a few examples:

If you are applying for a CFO/Controller/Director of Finance position in an entrepreneurial to mid-sized non-public company, the primary expectations over the first year will probably include:

1. Process Improvement – reducing the closing process, improving financial reporting, inventory control process changes, order entry processing speed/efficiency.

2. Financial Planning/Analysis/Forecasting – improvements to budgeting, annual planning, cash flow management, strategic planning, monthly analysis, monthly and quarterly projections.

3. Operational Projects – conducting special one-time analysis on leasing equipment, facility optimization, capital investments in equipment, customer profitability analysis, viability of new products, services, markets, analysis of warranty reserves, and cost reduction opportunities.

4. Policies/Procedures/Asset Protection – improving/changing the handling of cash, tracking of fixed assets, credit policies, collection management, purchasing and material management.

If you are applying for a Marketing Manager position at a sub-component manufacturing company, the primary expectations over the first year might include:

1. Marketing/Sales Materials – review and improvement of all collateral material used by the sales team.

2. Business Growth – assessment and recommendation of new markets, products, and services. Launching and managing existing and new services and products.

3. External marketing – branding, positioning, messaging, advertising, and trade shows to increase awareness and recognition in marketing to OEM manufacturers.

4. Lead generation for the sales function – database marketing, trade offers, channel management, website, lead management tools.

Tell us what the 3-4 primary success factors are in your functional role for the type of industry/type of company that you are focusing your job search on.

We’d like to see how many job seekers understand the critical components of being successful for the type of position they are seeking.

Now let’s jump back to the first interview question a recruiter poses to you in the initial phone call:

My client’s closing process takes too long. They need this individual to reduce by 50% the time it takes to close their books on a monthly basis.

Amazing. Astounding. The recruiter is blown away. You’ve got 2-3 great examples of where you solved similar/comparable process problems/obstacles.

Let’s try another one:

My client is looking at expanding their regional electro-optical sub-component business nationally. Do you have 2-3 comparable examples you could share about moving a company into different markets against entrenched competition?

Amazing. Astounding. Once again the recruiter is blown away by the 2-3 examples you’ve shared about successful marketing efforts to move your prior companies into new markets.

The recruiter is doing their job asking the tough questions based on client expectations of success. A little preparation and understanding of what the most common obstacles/problems/opportunities someone in a specific role is going to face will allow you to ace the vast majority of “appropriate” interviews.

Keep in mind that if your background is primarily in marketing management and you’ve done very little in sales management, I’m probably going to quickly screen you as inappropriate for this executive search for a sales management job. If you’re essentially a channel marketing director, I’m probably going to quickly exclude you from consideration for the marketing role in my client’s direct sales model.

The key word is “appropriate”.

One of the greatest frustrations we hear from employers/recruiters is that the vast majority of candidates from whom the receive resumes/calls ARE NOT APPROPRIATE” for their openings on a very basic level – this brings us back to a previous blog posting where I made the outrageous suggestion to stop shot-gunning your resume to jobs that are totally inappropriate and focus your search efforts on “appropriate jobs”.

The shot-gun approach to responding to job advertisements/recruiter job announcements is a complete waste of time. Okay – a miniscule number of candidates will occasionally get lucky – after all – even a blind squirrel will get a nut sometimes. However, do you want to base your job search on “luck” or on a systematic – methodical – structured approach validated as generating consistent results?

You make the choice! If you’re not obtaining decent results from your current shot-gun approach of scattering resumes every time you come across a key word – perhaps it’s time to try a test and see if a more focused effort would generate better results.

Now that I’ve repeated myself for the 100th time on the worthless approach of conducting a shot-gun job search, let’s return to the primary focus of this blog post.

Let’s assume you get screened out for an “appropriate” role.

Shame on you for letting that happen.

If you’ve taken all our recommendations in our FREE Archive of job search best practices including such items as preparing a great job search plan, developing an outstanding LinkedIn Profile, consistently and effectively leveraging cover letters, and investing extensive time in the preparation for an interview – then there is NOT a recruiter, HR staff person, or Hiring Manager who CAN deny you the opportunity to be considered.

NOW we come to the real issue behind why you get screened out for “appropriate” openings on the first recruiter interview question (forget all the  “inappropriate job responses” – you should be immediately screened out for these) – you didn’t do your homework – you didn’t apply the best practices in conducting you job search –  you basically “winged-it”.

STOP being screened out prematurely for openings for which you are perfect. STOP letting this happen. Make a resolution right now that you will never allow yourself again to be screened out prematurely for an “appropriate” position.

START today in changing the way you conduct your job search. Take our entire FREE Archive of Audio Programs, Templates, Examples, and other tools – and start transforming your job search. After you swallow that overwhelming amount of FREE content from us – start extracting the FREE content from all other great career coaches and recruiters on the internet.

STOP complaining about your ineffective job search and the obstacles you are facing. There is an extraordinary amount of great content available to you that is either FREE or can be acquired for a minimal investment. Every candidate I have met in this horrific job market that invested time in discovering and using job search best practices has dramatically reduced the time it took to land a great job.




In this blog post, we just took one tiny element of conducting a more effective job search: How to NOT get screened out by recruiters for appropriate positions in their first interview question.

There are hundreds of activities, tactics, strategies you could use to conduct an effective job search.

Barry Deutsch

Jump into the vibrant dialogue in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group on the most common basic best practices of conducting an effective job search.

Job Seekers Should Stop Being So Hypocritical

For 30 years this September, as both a contingent and retained recruiter, I have listened to the complaints by candidates (job seekers) about hiring managers and the complaints by hiring managers about candidates.

Even after 30 years, as I read blog comments, or sit in a chair and listen to these complaints, I’m still amazed (yes, amazed) at the hypocrisy spewing out from both candidates and hiring managers.

I read the comments to our blogs where candidates complain about the black hole when they send resumes, they complain about how long it takes to fill a position, they complain about recruiters, they complain about not getting their calls returned, they complain that their resume doesn’t get read in great detail, they hate the 10 second resume screen, they complain about cover letters, they complain about how these hiring managers are missing qualified people, they complain that the interview wasn’t fair or too short or too long, and that the person conducting the phone interview wasn’t qualified and didn’t know the job. This list could fill a book about the size of War and Peace, or for those not into War and Peace, book seven of Harry Potter.

Sound at all familiar if you are seeking a new position?

I then listen to hiring managers, HR, CEOs and key executives who are doing the hiring complain that, I get too many resumes, I get tired of interviewing average candidates, I will get to those resumes this weekend or next weekend, the resumes don’t match my job, candidates don’t know how to interview, candidates can’t put together two complex sentences, they complain that recruiters aren’t screening tight enough, they complain recruiters are screening too tight, they get angry at the recruiter for wasting their time interviewing unqualified candidates, they rule a qualified candidate out because they didn’t like the way they sat in the chair (I’m not kidding), they rule a candidate out because his tie was not straight (No, I’m not kidding), give me a job spec so tight and narrow that they themselves (this person’s boss and direct report) wouldn’t be qualified, tell me that from a 15-minute interview this person won’t fit, isn’t assertive enough, or my favorite, the candidate isn’t a  team player (so I ask, “What teams will they serve on?” Answer, “Well not right away, but probably in the next two years.”) They also don’t like the candidate’s handshake, or for this sales position the person needs to be a real go-getter, outgoing and aggressive (so then I ask if they like being approached by outgoing, aggressive sales people and they reply, “No, of course not.”) I could fill another book the size of War and Peace with these complaints.

Then I realized in both cases,  I’m talking with or listening to the exact same person.

Job seekers become hiring managers and hiring managers become job seekers.

The problem is that when they move from one side of the desk to the other, their perspective changes, their needs change, their priorities change, and it is a whole new ball game. Hiring, whether it’s a candidate or hiring authority is “all about me” and “what’s in it for me?”  That is just the way it is. Right or wrong, good or bad, like it or not, that is the fact of hiring.

So the next time, before you complain, from either side of the desk, please take a step back, look at yourself and treat the person on the other side of the desk with the same respect you complain about.

I know, I for one, would surely appreciate it.

You can download many free tools from our Web site. Our most popular free resource is the sample cover letter. CLICK HERE to get one.

If your LinkedIn profile is just fair to average download our free LinkedIn profile assessment to help you build a great profile that gets you noticed. CLICK HERE to download.

You should also join our LinkedIn Job Search Networking group. This group had 3,900 members. The articles and discussions can only help you with your job search. CLICK HERE to join, all are welcome, and of course it is free.

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Good or bad, agree or disagree, all voices are welcome. Just be respectful.

Brad Remillard

What’s the difference between “good-to-great” recruiters and bad recruiters?

Image of Bad Recruiter abusing a job search candidate

There are a few “good-to-great” (to borrow a popular phrase from Jim Collins) recruiters out there. Brad and I have trained thousands of recruiters over the last 25 years. The vast majority I wouldn’t want to work with if they were the last recruiters on Earth. They fall into the category of being a “broker” – pushing paper to make a buck – sacrificing ethics, relationships – all to earn a commission.

Conversely, a good-to-great recruiter exhibits the following 6 characteristics:

1. They are responsive

2. They follow-through on their commitments

3. They have a “trusted-advisor” relationship with their clients

4. They are knowledgeable about their client, the client’s industry, and the role

5. They position themselves as a “consultant” not a slick salesperson or “broker”

6. They have a deep understanding of how to measure talent and ask outstanding questions

Have I missed any important differences between bad and “good-to-great” recruiters. What’s your experience? Do you have a favorite story or recruiter behavior you would like to share with our subscribers?

One of the major mistakes many candidates make in working with recruiters is choosing to work with a bad recruiter. The risks including damaging your reputation, screwing up a job opportunity, and providing you with terrible job search or career advice.

Make sure you use the checklist above to ensure you’re working with a reliable, trustworthy recruiter who you know will “get your back” around issues of confidentiality, salary negotiation, presenting your background to client’s, and protecting your reputation.

We’re in middle of developing a scorecard for assessing recruiters. Share with us your key issue that leads to your love of working with a particular recruiter, or the issue that sends you running in the opposite direction. If enough people share your key issue, we’ll feature it as one of the core assessment categories on our recruiter scorecard.

We’ll be giving away a limited number of copies of our popular job search e-book to those who respond before the end of Friday. Shoot us back a quick comment on the blog and share your “burning” recruiter frustration or joy with the rest of our job search community – and perhaps be eligible to win a copy of our e-book based on the original soft-cover workbook, This is NOT the Position I Accepted.

While you’re thinking about your “recruiter issue”, take a moment and check out the extensive list of FREE audio programs we’ve archived on our web site. Every week Brad and I host an Internet Talk Radio show on Mondays 11-noon on, alternating with job search and hiring manager topics. We’ve discussed a few times in the last 6 months various issues of working with recruiters. There are also a series of articles on this blog about how recruiters find candidates and other related topics. Be sure to type recruiter into the search dialog box at the top of the page.


How to Mistreat Your Recruiter

Job Search Candidate mistreating their recruiter. Why should the recruiter want to help the candidate?

Recruiters also need a little love

Why do many executives and managers mistreat recruiters when they are employed – yet beg recruiters to return their calls and present them on search assignments when they are unemployed or into a major job search for new position?

Is there a touch of irony to this scenario?

Let’s discuss precisely what it means to mistreat your recruiter:

1. When the recruiter calls you to discuss an job opportunity, you don’t return the call, are rude, or slam down the phone impatiently stating you don’t have time to talk.

2. When the recruiter asks you for a referral on an existing search, you indicate that no one comes to mind or you cannot think of one person out of the hundreds you’ve interacted with over the past few years. There is no risk in making a referral – is that not what networking is all about?

3. When the recruiter asks for an introduction to one of your peers or other executives who are looking to employ a recruiter to fill a position, you refuse to make the introduction.

4. When the recruiter who placed you or has worked with you before, calls to check in, buy you lunch, develop a relationship to get to know you better, you drop the phone like it’s a hot potato – why would you want to be caught meeting with a recruiter – wouldn’t that give your peers back at the office something juicy to gossip about?

Brad and I have been conducting executive search for over 25 years. Learn more about one of the most successful Retained Executive Search Practices in this country. We’re highly sought-after speakers, facilitators, and keynoters on the subjects of recruiting, hiring, and job search.

The first people we think of on a new search is “who do I have a relationship with that is an outstanding candidate?”. Our second step is then to start networking through our relationships for candidates we don’t know intimately right now.

What defines a “relationship” with a recruiter. It’s an individual who goes “above and beyond” their peer group in building a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with a a recruiter – one who doesn’t mistreat their recruiter.

Are you guilty of mistreating your recruiter?

Remember – recruiters also need a little love (or at least a pat on the back).

When was the last time you hugged your recruiter?


P.S: Don’t forget to check out the extensive archives on our site of FREE tools, templates, audio, and examples Brad and I have posted for the candidates who do show us a little love now and then.

Don’t forget to join Brad and I in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group by clicking here for the invitation.

We would like to hear how you’ve either mistreated your recruiter or hugged them by going beyond your peer group to create a relationship.

How Recruiters Find People

In my 29 years of recruiting, I have talked with and trained over 200 recruiters around the country in advanced recruiting techniques. Given this, I’ve learned two things 1) the recruiting industry is not homogeneous and 2) we all may be different, but there is one constant; how we find people. There really isn’t anything all that unique about how recruiters go about locating potential candidates. We all use our networks and other people’s networks. This includes both on-line networks such as Linkedin (Click here to join our Linkedin Job Search Group) and off-line such as networking groups in our community.

So why is this important to candidates? Because the most often asked question of recruiters is, “How do I get in touch with retained recruiters?” The answer is a simple one; “You don’t need to.” You don’t really want to get in touch with every recruiter, that is impossible. You only want to get in touch with those recruiters that have a search that meets your background. All the other recruiters don’t matter! So the real question should be; “ How do I get recruiters looking for me, to find me?” Now that is an easy thing to do, but like most things it isn’t simple.

The answer is one word; NETWORKING. Since recruiters maximize the use of their networks and others, all you have to do is be so well networked that a recruiter can’t help but find you. If you really are well networked, as recruiters tap into their networks, your name will always come up as a referral. The more often recruiters hear, “You should call ____, they sound exactly like what you are looking for” the higher the probability you will get a call.

So, if you want to have recruiters calling you, make sure they can find you.

GET YOURSELF NETWORKED in multiple industries and with multiple functions. Don’t forget that Linkedin is used extensively by most recruiters, so it is critical to have your profile up to date and complete. You can download for free our 8 Point Success Matrix For A Linkedin Profile, just click here.

Job Search Disaster: Too Many Eggs in the Wrong Basket

Metaphor of eggs in one basket to convey the risk of focusing in the wrong areas on your job search

I read with great interest a post today on The Work Buzz Blog by Rachel Zupek, where she revealed that in CareerBuilder’s most recent Quarterly Staffing and Demand Outlook that 25% of surveyed candidates indicated they planned to use a recruiter over the next quarter in their job search.

What the heck does that mean for using recruiters in your job search?

Is using a recruiter mean you’re praying they find you a job at the expense of investing in personal networking?

Does it mean that you plan on contacting a recruiter?

Does it simply mean you’re going to send your resume to a recruiter and if something happens – good for you.

No fault of Rachel’s here – I’m just giving her a plug for publishing the survey results. However, my frustration is apparent that I consider most surveys to be worthless from an informational and useful perspective. Should this data give hope to recruiters? Should it convince job seekers that a major part of their job search should be working with recruiters?

Let’s be real about the effectiveness of using recruiters in your job search (By the way – 90% of my income is generated as a Retained Executive Recruiter).

1. The recruiting profession covers less than 10% of available job opportunities. The higher up the food chain you go, the lower the probability a recruiter will help you find a job. Why is this? It’s because the vast majority of jobs are in the “hidden job market” – they are not advertised, published, placed with recruiters. They are filled through networking.

2. At a managerial/executive job search level, you should be in contact with good recruiters who specialize in your area of expertise/job level/industry/geography. Your contact – interaction – time invested with recruiters should be less than 10% of your overall job search strategy.

3. Networking is KING! 80% of your job search should be focused on networking. If you would like to learn more about how networking, job search personal branding, creating an abundance of referrals and job leads can help you – be sure to visit our FREE Audio Library where Brad and I have posted all our LATALKRADIO broadcasts about job search, including networking, resumes, interviewing, and personal branding. We cover networking strategies and tactics in-depth through our “Job Search Home Study Kit“. If you want to understand how to reduce the time it takes to find a job by at least 50%, this kit has everything you’ll ever need.

4. Sending your resume to a recruiter “blindly” is a useless exercise. 99.9% of these will end up in the trash can. There are a number of techniques you can use to gain a recruiter’s attention, manage the relationship, and get your resume to “pop” to the top of the stack. Learn more about how to work with recruiters by reading our recently published book on Job Search titled “This is NOT the Position I Accepted”. We also have talked about how to work with recruiters on our Weekly Radio Show.

5. Like most networking best practices, working with a recruiter is no different. You’ve got to be able to “help the recruiter” if you want help back. Try to find ways to make referrals on their other searches, ask how you can help them, try to find ways to make the recruiter successful. It’s a two-way relationship. I cannot remember the last time a candidate said to me “How can I help you?”

Hopefully, these 5 tips should help put into perspective what “working with recruiters” really means for your job search.


Are Recruiters Looking For Qualified People?


A common assumption made by most candidates is that, “I’m qualified. Why don’t you call me?” Simply put, you answered your own question. We don’t want qualified people.

Recruiters are only looking for exceptionally qualified people.

Especially in this market, companies don’t need to hire us to find qualified people. They can do that on their own for FREE.

If you want to have recruiters notice you, if you want recruiters to call you once they receive your resume, and if you want recruiters to return your phone call, then you must demonstrate why you are exceptionally qualified. We are not looking for just qualified, or as most candidates indicate in their emails, “I think I’m a good fit.” Recruiters don’t want “a good fit” either. We want exceptional fits.

Our book, “This is NOT the Position I Accepted” was written for this exact reason. We really attempted to help candidates understand how to demonstrate they are an exceptional fit. The 5 steps in the book give great detail on being or becoming exceptional. These 5 steps closely follow a sales model, after all, you are now in sales.

1) Define the product. That is you. Why are you so different from your competition? This is the, “what makes me exceptional” part. If you can’t define this, then you are not exceptional. Don’t feel badly. Not everyone can be exceptional. Only the top 15 – 20% are exceptional.

This is probably the biggest reason most candidates fail at being exceptional. They don’t take the time to perform an in-depth analysis of their strengths and transferable skills. (We have a free skills assessment tool for you do download at the bottom of our home page CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD).

2) Identify Customers. All good sales people have a target list of customers , who they want to talk to in that company, and how to get to them. This is your network. Of the thousands of candidates I interview, very few have a real focused, targeted list and a plan to get to the person. Real sales people don’t just randomly call on companies and neither should you.

3) Marketing Materials. This is your resume. Sales people know that marketing materials are just support documents that open doors. These documents don’t close the sale. Most companies that are market focused have multiple marketing documents. They know that customers are motivated by different things and they need to get to what motivates that customer to make a sale. One size fits all, doesn’t work.

Your resume should be focused to the company/hiring manager/recruiter’s motivation. Your resume should clearly articulate the benefits to the person or recruiter whose attention you want to attract. This is not one size fits all.

You can download a free audio on, “Why Traditional Resumes Are Worthless” by CLICKING HERE

4) Sales Presentation. In the candidate’s case the presentation is the interview, either via phone or face-to-face. Sales people practice this at length. Sales reps often have the manager go along to ensure they are skilled at this. Sales reps anticipate objections, seek out the answers to overcome the objections, and then practice to make them appear unrehearsed. Sales people know exactly what questions to ask to elicit the information needed to make the sale.

Most candidates don’t rehearse their presentation to anyone. They practice answers in their head, but rarely write out the answers. I have watched more interviews collapse when the hiring manager asks, “What questions do you have for me?” The candidate sits there like a deer in the headlights. This part of the interview is so important that we have included over 150 questions to ask in an interview in our book and have even divided the questions into categories. The list includes questions on leadership, initiative, values, management style, and questions specific to the job, organization, etc.

The questions you ask are often more important than the answers you give.

To receive a free chapter on, “Winning the Phone Interview” CLICK HERE.

We also have a whole chapter on the ten most important questions to ask in an interview.

Less than 10% ever ask even one of these. Amazing.

5) Follow-up and closing. It is all a waste of time if the follow-up and closing doesn’t happen. For candidates, this happens in a couple of different areas, thank you letters (we even provide an example), second and third interviews, and of course closing the deal. This may even include a contract.

Mastering, NOT JUST KNOWING THESE, but mastering these will make you the exceptional candidate recruiters are seeking.

Knowing them will ensure you stay a qualified candidate.

For more information on becoming exceptional see all of our free resources, review the free audio library where we post new audios every week, read our other career management blog entries and even listen to our talk radio show on Monday’s at 11 – noon PDT on

You can receive our candidate job search workbook for FREE by CLICKING HERE

Now you have the resources and tools to become an “exceptional” candidate. We hope you will pick up the tools and begin using them.