Dear Dr. Civitelli,
Hello, I am a mid-career professional in Seattle who is burned out on my current job and I want to find a new one. But I have never had to look for a job before and I don’t know where to start. I am thinking that a recruiter might be helpful to me…can you tell me how to find a good one?
First of all, are you planning to stay in the same career field and do you have a solid work history with measurable accomplishments and increasing levels of responsibility? These are the criteria that recruiters use to ascertain whether they will work with a candidate or not. Recruiters are hired by organizations to find candidates with specific track records and skills. Their dream candidate would be someone who is already working for a competitor of the organization for which the recruiter is sourcing, and preferably performing the identical job function. For other situations, such as a candidate’s desire to make a career change or to rehabilitate a career that is a bit derailed, recruiters are not very helpful. (You can’t blame them…they don’t get paid for that!)
If you do meet the criteria under which recruiters are likely to be helpful, the first step in finding a good one is to ask colleagues in your career field if they can recommend someone with whom they have personally worked. If someone you know and trust has a recommendation, ask that person if he/she can introduce you to the recruiter. This is important because recruiters often respect candidates a lot more if they meet you via a respected third party introduction rather than through a cold call.
Cold calling a recruiter is an option if you cannot find someone to introduce you. To find a recruiter, LinkedIn is a valuable resource.
Alternatively, you can use my free online list of Seattle recruiters. I compiled this list as a convenience to my Seattle readers.
Hope this helps!