Career Advice

How to Network with the Right Recruiter

business cardIf you are out of work or, simply open to new opportunities, and you meet a recruiter: DO NOT start pitching your resume to them. Why? You might be wasting each other’s time! Just because someone is a recruiter doesn’t mean they are in a position to help you. For example, back in the day I used to work for Lanta Technology Group where we staffed startups with executive and technical talent. I was always on the hunt for software developers and senior managers who wanted to join a startup and get rich overnight. During the dot com era, it was not considered too outlandish to accomplish that very thing. When I would attend networking functions, business cards and resumes were tossed at me like ninja stars.

So many times I wanted to scream out loud (and I think I did once) that I could not help everyone. And more often than not, I had to refer people to other recruiters I knew. Why? The job title of “recruiter” is not a one-size fits all kind of position. There are many different types of recruiters: military recruiters, diversity recruiters, technical recruiters, healthcare recruiters, college recruiters, sports recruiters, executive recruiters, physician recruiters, nurse recruiters, bilingual recruiters, sales recruiters, firefighter recruiters, truck driver recruiters, veterinarian recruiters, legal recruiters, management recruiters, and pharmaceutical recruiters. And this is just off the top of my head. In case you think I am exaggerating, take any of these recruiter job titles and look them up on a job board. Sigh…

On some occasions, I think I offended some people by referring them elsewhere. But honestly, back then I served a specific niche. If you were a schoolteacher or a CPA, I would not have been able to help you. I wish back then I would have pointed people to Google

Google Plus is going through something of an identity crisis, but for now, I liken it to a Facebook competitor. One of the things I really like about Google Plus is how easy it is to find people on it. (Go figure). Check out what happens when I do a search for “technical recruiter” on Google Plus and refine my search by “People and Pages.”gplus-picture1

I get rows and rows of pictures of people on Google Plus who are college recruiters, or at the least, have those terms on their Google Plus “About Me” pages. Moreover, if we have mutual friends in common, I am able to see that at a glance. And the best part, if they have the Google Hangout symbol on their profile, I can reach out to them and say “hello.”gplus-picture2

Of course, if I were to reach out to a perfect stranger on Google Plus, I would make very sure that my Google Plus profile is looking good and does a great job at showcasing my professional achievements. Why? It’s the first place someone will look and it is what they will use to determine whether or not they will reply to your hangout request. Make sense?