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Problems working with third-party recruiters

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Posts: 40
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I get contacted by a lot of third-party recruiters. It is always the same routine: I send them my updated resume, they submit me to a position, and then usually I never hear anything more. The lack of interviews leaves me wondering why they are submitting my resume in the first place. That last couple of times I got a phone interview, the interviewer never contacted me. Has anyone else had issues like this before? Do recruiters get some huge commission or something? I can no longer take recruiters seriously.
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A lot of recruiters have no technology background. They simply match resumes to job description by matching keywords. One recruiter might be sending 40 resumes to 10 clients. they get a commission when one hits.

There are a few recruiters who come from tech backgrounds and are able to be more discerning. You need to pay attention to what kind of questions the recruiter asks you To evaluate their tech skills.
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You have to remember that the recruiter works for the hiring company -- and not for you. So, when there is a mismatch between you and the hiring company, he/she will break the relationship with you. Also, the ratio of available candidates to the position are pretty high, so hiring companies (and recruiters) tend to get desensitize to the candidates, and just break off communications when they are no longer interested.

Yes, I agree that it is unprofessional. But what can you do? I recommend to just move on (and try to not take it too personally)...

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Well, it depends on the local market for your skills, but recruiters are competing with each other to make a sale to their client i.e. the employer who may be advertising the same job via several recruitment agencies, so if they don't think they can sell you, they're not interested in you any more.

But you can sometimes improve the way you work with recruiters by developing an understanding of which ones seem to have the most interesting jobs in your target market, and which ones seem to have a better understanding of what it is you can offer a client. Once you've identified a few who regularly have interesting jobs on offer, call them up and talk to them about your skills/experience and the kind of work you're looking for. Listen out for indications that they have some understanding of what you do for a living - if they don't know there's a difference between Java and JavaScript, then you can probably terminate the interview! This may also help you to get a better sense of what the recruiter is looking for to make it easier for them to sell you as a potential candidate. They may not have any suitable jobs right now, but smarter recruiters keep a list of good potential candidates because it can give them a head start when a client calls up and says they're looking for somebody just like you.

I was a freelance developer for 20 years, so I worked with a lot of recruitment agents. Some of them were just traders, who simply played buzzword bingo and had probably been selling double-glazing or insurance the week before. Most were OK, provided you remember to look at things from their perspective sometimes and you don't have any illusions about who they're really working for (not you!). And some were really good, with a decent understanding of their market within the industry and of the candidates they were trying to sell into that market.

So if you think you may need to use recruitment agencies to get access to jobs in your target market, it's worth putting some time into researching them first. The same job will often be advertised via several recruiters, so knowing which one to pick may improve your chances of getting the job.
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Try to build a relationship with your recruiter. Just sending them your CV is going to turn you into fodder, as people have mentioned in this thread.

Get them to take you for coffee. Explain your background, what you're looking for, what your expectations are. Get a feeling for whether you like them and their style. You and your recruiter should be working closely together to get you submitted for a number of roles, tailored to what you want.
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