Recruiters Are Not for Everyone

Nancy Anderson
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For inexperienced job seekers, working with headhunters may seem like the fastest way to bypass a counterproductive hiring process. However, job recruiters vary in skills, practices and ethical standards, so it can be time-consuming to find reputable headhunters who are both qualified and motivated to market you to employers. Before putting your job search in someone else's hands, consider these reasons why a job recruiter may not be right for you.

Low Incentive

Job recruiters increase their bottom line by facilitating a successful hire, which they accomplish by promoting the most competitive candidates. Headhunters are only interested in your career if you have a strong chance of impressing employers, and many aren't willing to damage hard-won relationships with hiring managers by backing clients with a weak resume. This puts novice and unemployed workers at a significant disadvantage, and the effort required to convince headhunters of your job readiness is better spent networking directly with professionals in your industry.

Poor Communication

Job recruiters aren't career coaches or personal cheerleaders, so communication may completely disappear when you aren't being considered for a job. Headhunters are preoccupied with building a winning talent pool of job-ready professionals and less concerned with critiquing your resume or checking in on your progress. Even if you reach the interview phase, many recruiters avoid sharing any feedback from employers that could help you going forward. With or without a job recruiter, finding your own leads and following up with hiring managers is the smartest way to land a position, making it unwise to rely on headhunters to keep you informed.

Lack of Control

If you remember playing "Telephone" as a child, you already know that information is easily distorted as it passes from one person to the next. Misinformation is a common problem when working with disreputable job recruiters, who may do a poor job of promoting your qualifications or make unauthorized changes to your resume. If headhunters misrepresent your skills to hiring managers or spam them with repeat applications, you are at risk of tarring your reputation with influential professionals. More importantly, a self-interested third party is never as invested in your career as you are, making you the person best suited to convey your value proposition to potential employers.

Lack of Transparency

Job recruiters have no obligation to be honest with job seekers, making it difficult to know whether they're stringing you along or keeping you at the top of the list for future opportunities. Some headhunters might never call you back after making promises to follow up, while others may lie about a hiring manager's impression of you. Many recruitment agencies even use fake job postings to build a talent pool for roles they frequently fill, wasting your time when they don't have immediate openings. Job recruiters can be a valuable resource for landing unadvertised positions, but you should still do the legwork to manage your candidacy.

The hurdles of the hiring process can push you to look for easy loopholes, but working with job recruiters may hold you back in the long run. Networking and tracking down your own opportunities is hard work, but taking control of your job search helps you develop skills and relationships that ease career transitions in the future.

Photo courtesy of Nazareth College at


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Cyndi B thanks for your comment. Sorry that you feel that way. Beyond is not a scam and you can easily change your email options or delete your account. This is your account and you are in charge. To make changes, click on the down arrow next to the photo holder at the upper right of your account. There you can click on email options and remove yourself from all emails. Or, if you wish, you can simply delete your account. Click on Account Settings and then on Delete Account and confirm. Hope that helps. We wish you all the best on your future endeavors.

  • cyndi b.
    cyndi b.

    Beyond is a scam & they wont remove me from email list

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