Whether you’ve been an executive for one year or ten years, more than likely you’ve been contacted by or worked with an executive recruiter.
There are many myths and misconceptions about recruiters, and it’s important to separate fact from fiction in order to get the most benefit from your relationship with recruiters in general.
#1 Myth: You Should Only Work With One Recruiter At A Time
You can work with multiple recruiters (2-3) at a time.
Recruiters often have a relationship with many companies — but certainly not all companies in an industry. So working with a few recruiters simultaneously can help you be exposed to multiple opportunities. But make sure you let your recruiters know who else you are working with — and what companies they are submitting you to.
#2 Myth: A Recruiter Will Help Me Find a Job
Remember, recruiters get paid by a company for filling a position, so they don’t work for you — they work for the employer paying their fee. Working with a recruiter is just one component in a well-rounded job search (along with networking, direct contact with employers, and other methods).
#3 Myth: Recruiters Can Help Me Make a Career Change
Recruiters are often working from very specific executive search assignments where employing company’s criteria are well-defined. Therefore, they are looking to find candidates with those specific qualifications, not someone with an interest in the field.
The better your credentials meet the search assignment specifications, the more likely you will be considered as a candidate and the more likely you will be successfully placed in the role. If you want to make a career change, working with a recruiter isn’t likely to be an effective strategy.
#4 Myth: There’s No Cost to Working With a Recruiter
You should not be charged a fee by the recruiter for placing you in a position; however, you may incur some expenses related to your work with a recruiter. For example, if you are asked by the recruiter to make changes to your resume, you may need to work with a resume writer to create a special version of your resume for that recruiter.
The recruiter may also recommend resources for you — such as interview training and coaching — that may help you to be more effective in your interviews. Some recruiters may even provide those services to you directly to make you more marketable. However, you are under no obligation to spend any money on services recommend by recruiters.
#5 Myth: All Recruiters are Legitimate
Be aware that there are unscrupulous practitioners out there who promote themselves as recruiters but charge job seekers large fees to help them to access job opportunities. Not only are these not legitimate recruiters, but they most often do not deliver on their promises.
While you can — and should — employ the services of legitimate career industry professionals such as professional resume writers and career coaches to assist in your job search, do not be misled by someone asking for a substantial investment ($3,000 or more) in exchange for access to “hidden” jobs or “preferred” opportunities.
A professional recruiter will never ask for the job seeker to pay a fee — before, during, or after placement.