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  • Working with a Recruiter

    [09.18.07]
    - Marc Mencher

  •  When forming a relationship with a recruiter, remember it's important to keep an ongoing dialog. Feel comfortable addressing questions and concerns with you recruiter, and after a job interview, always have a follow-up conversation with him or her. That way, when the recruiter contacts the company, he'll know what to expect and can work his spin control magic if need be.

    Above all else, always be open and honest with your recruiter. To paraphrase Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, "Help your recruiter help you."

    What to expect from a recruiter
    Good recruiters aren't going to process your resume like an android. Rather, they'll actively seek your insight and help you work on a presentation package. This will include a resume, of course, but your recruiter will work to tailor your resume so it highlights your experience as it relates to the job. A recruiter who simply ships your resume out to as many game companies as can be found is not a recruiter worth your time.

    Your recruiter will also work with you to create a job search strategy that considers location (if you hate the cold you certainly don't want a job at EA's new office in Chicago), salary requirements, and career objectives. This way you'll both be on the same page and never wondering, "What is that recruiter doing for me?"

    Once you've settled on a job strategy, your recruiter should provide you with job descriptions from a variety of companies. A good recruiter will also be able to educate you about the company's financial strength, how management works, short-term and long-term company plans, the bonus program, and if there are any mandatory Hawaiian shirt Fridays you need to be aware of. That way, you can decide your level of interest in the job before your resume is sent out. A good recruiter will always update your search status and inform you of new opportunities.

    If you're actively looking for a job, expect to hear from your recruiter at least once a week, if not more. If you're casually looking for another gig, expect to hear from the recruiter every other month or so.

    After you've decided to go after a job, your recruiter can help you prepare for the interview and will function as your support system. Job-hunting can be stressful. A good recruiter knows this and can alleviate that stress by scheduling your interviews as well as managing the flow of communication with the prospective companies. Your recruiter will also keep you on track and in the parameters of your search strategy. Finally, a recruiter will help you resign from your current job and relocate. A recruiter will check in on you periodically after you've started the new job and can trouble-shoot any problems at the new company (like those mandatory Hawaiian shirt Fridays).

    Perhaps most important, the relationship with your recruiter can be extremely beneficial when executing your long-term career trajectory. If you've got dreams of becoming a senior project manager at Sony or vice president of development at Ubisoft, a recruiter can be a big help in formulating the plan to reach those goals. Remember, career growth does not simply happen on a wish and a prayer. Like those hairpin turns in Need for Speed, you need to work at it! Think of your recruiter as your pit manager. She's in there, surveying the scene, giving you the information you need to stay ahead of the pack and race to victory.

    Always remember, it's no coincidence that most managers, directors, and vice president-level people at your company have long-standing relationships and obtained their senior level position through a recruiter.

    Marc Mencher is CEO of GameRecruiter.com and a game industry career specialist who has helped thousands of jobseekers land positions with leading game companies. He will be a featured keynote speaker at CMP's Game Career Seminar, October 18 and 19 in Los Angeles. Marc also fields questions from readers on GameCareerGuide.com's forum.

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