Job Recruiter

Out of nowhere, this email pops up in your inbox: “So-and-so company is looking to fill this position and you’re qualified for it!”

It’s kind of the dream, really, to be discovered. Someone sought you out because they thought you’d be the perfect fit for their open position. And if you’ve been searching for a job for a few months, this is a blessing. But it’s almost too good to be true. So good, that you do start to question the legitimacy of this dreams-are-finally-coming-true offer.

Is this for real?

Odds are, it is, actually. Even though we’ve all grown up inundated with warnings against scams and trusting anyone on the internet (don’t worry, I won’t tell your mom that you found all your best friends on Tumblr and Twitter), there are actually good people out there who really do want to offer you a job.

Still, make sure you research first the recruitment company and then the company from whom they’re offering the job. A quick question to Google will answer whether or not this company is just trying to lure you into a scam. You might want to look up the person who contacted you, on LinkedIn or otherwise, to see what their credentials are as well.

If you don’t see any red flags, email them back as soon as possible.

Is this position worth it?

Even though this opportunity may seem like a dream come true and exciting, make sure you take a moment to decide if this position is really worth it. Contract positions can be tricky; their temporary nature makes them so. Still, a contract position can give you experience, and open doors for you.

Two things are key to keep in mind:

  1. Would you have to relocate? If the contract is only for a few months, it might be hard to find a place to live for just that length of time. Still, those few months (and the experience you’re gaining from the job) might give you time to establish yourself in a city and seek other opportunities there. It helps if the company would offer you some relocation assistance, too.
  2. What are your options once your contract is over? Are there any opportunities for advancement or a chance that you’ll be hired as a permanent employee? Is the company well-known enough that its reputation will help you get a job somewhere else? These are all questions to ask your job recruiter. They’ve probably worked with the company for a while and would know.
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If you’ve just graduated from college and reached a point of hopelessness that you’ll ever find a job, you may be considering any position that comes your way, just to get your foot in the door. Sometimes jobs aren’t worth it, but a lot of the time they are. You just have to decide for yourself and see where this opportunity can take you. There are benefits to accepting a position you don’t really want.

Also know you can pull your name out of the running at any point in the process. Even if you’re days away from the in-person interview, if you’re not feeling the job at all or you’ve thought it over and you really don’t want to take the position, you can always call up the job recruiter and cut ties. Don’t ever feel pressured into a position or feel like you have an obligation to go through with the interviews, or even accept the job if you get a final offer. It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the experience, but if you start having second and third thoughts that are convincing you to not go through with it, you don’t have to.

Keep your phone on you always

Because the process goes so fast, you’re going to be hearing a lot from everyone. Between preliminary conversations, calls from the job recruiter to prep you for your phone screen with the company, calls and emails confirming how and when you’re going to get to your in-person interview, and any correspondence in between, now is the time to be even more tied to your phone than ever. Have your ringer on and loud, be constantly checking your email, and have quick access to your resume and other important documents.

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This thing is going to go fast

Being picked up by a job recruiter is one of the fastest hiring processes I’ve ever experienced. I got an email on Monday and by the next Tuesday I was interviewing at the company – by that evening I knew whether or not I got the job. If I had, I would’ve started the job the next Monday, only two weeks after I received my first message.

If you’re being hired for a contract position, they want to fill the position as soon as possible. You’ll probably be part of a larger team that will have one purpose, so they already know exactly who they want to hire to fill the hole.

This works to your advantage, or disadvantage. Because they’re itching to hire someone, you’re going to be hit with a barrage of phone calls and quick decisions. I had phone calls with the job recruiter the first day, her project manager the next day, and then had my first phone interview with the actual company two days later. Because the hiring process is so sped up, you have a short amount of time to razzle-dazzle them and convince them to hire you. This could be a good thing or a bad thing.

Good, because they probably won’t ask you really deep questions; bad, because those deep questions can really help you to impress someone. But this is your time to be brave and bold. Give answers and ask your own questions that will make you standout from the group (in a good way, of course). Odds are they’re looking at a lot of people for this position (and the same is true for all hiring processes), so anything you can do to bring some focus to you in this blur of people is ideal.

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If you are contacted by a job recruiter, the experience can be exciting, thrilling, and could open a lot of doors for you. It’ll go fast, and you might find yourself all of a sudden interviewing for a position you didn’t know about a week before, but the experience you can get from a contract position can set you up for future jobs and could jumpstart your career in your field.

Has a job recruiter ever contacted you? What was your experience like?