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When the Recruiter Calls – Dos and Don’ts

When the Recruiter Calls – Dos and Don’ts

Recruiting, retained or contingency, involves (or should, anyway) directly approaching individuals who, based on their title or position, might well have the experience to handle the position their client (employer) is seeking to fill. The individuals who are approached are often employed at one of the client’s competitors.

You may have wondered about how to find the right recruiters. But now recruiters are calling and if they are seeking you, what would you do? What would you do when a recruiter calls and briefly outlines an opportunity with an unnamed company? If you’re unhappy where you are and the opportunity sounds interesting, you’ll want to know more. 

But I’m not talking about that scenario. I’m talking about the response when you ARE happy where you are. Because there’s a smart way to respond and a not-so-smart way to respond. And either choice impacts your career far more than you’d think it does!

So there you are, sitting at your desk working on an important project when the phone rings. And you pick it up. It’s a recruiter, who introduces himself and his firm and asks if you have a minute. What do you say? “Thanks for calling, but I’m happy where I am.” And hang up the phone? WRONG ANSWER!!!!

Why? Because you just cut yourself off from knowing what’s moving and shaking in your industry, which means you just cut yourself off from learning how to access the hidden job market that could potentially leverage your career.

You’ve just decided to limit your options. And if you don’t have access to information, you won’t know how to evaluate a job offer and you can’t make an informed decision, can you? 

What should you do instead? No matter how happy you are with your current company, listen to what the recruiter has to sayYou have a far better chance of leveraging your career when a recruiter calls  than when (and if) you contact a recruiter.

Some people are truly happy with their current position and not interested in currently making a change, regardless of the opportunity presented to them at that moment. But you listen anyway, not to change, but to develop a relationship and keep yourself informed and in control for when you do need to change. 

A friend of mine went with a company that had statewide offices. She began in their corporate office right out of college. Over the years, she obtained her MBA and continued moving on up through the ranks. For TWENTY-FIVE years she was with this company…..until she was laid off a few months ago. She hadn’t seen it coming. And she freaked out.

If YOU aren’t in control of your career, then your company IS. Corporate restructuring, layoffs and downsizing are taking place with alarming frequency as companies tighten their belts and look hard at who is contributing and who isn’t. 

Sometimes it isn’t even a matter of contribution. Sometimes it’s simply eliminating an entire department – and it has nothing to do with YOU, individually, at all. For instance, it’s not uncommon for a new manager or president to come in and bring his people with him. 

It can happen quickly and it can happen to you.

Will you have a network to fall back on if it does? Will you have relationships developed with recruiters that you can tap into at a moment’s notice? Develop it before you need it. The time to take control of your career is exactly when you think it isn’t necessarywhen you are happy and successful where you are.

About the Author

Mandy Fard is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW, CMRW) and Recruiter with decades of experience in assisting job seekers, working directly with employers in multiple industries, and writing proven-effective resumes.
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