Sunday, March 1, 2009 11:13 PM
I've been on both sides of the bad recruiter/bad candidate divide in my time :) I've had people call me out of the blue, make me aware of a job opportunity, but when I've looked over the requirements, I found that I didn't have nearly enough experience in whatever technology was needed, and I've told the recruiter as much, only for him to come back with, "Don't worry, we'll put you forward anyway". I insisted, "Look, dude, you need someone with 6 years of Java and I have less than one, it'd be a waste of everyone's time", and the guy is like, "Don't worry about it!" I was sorely tempted to call the client and say, "You might want to have a word with your recruiter...!"
On the other hand, there were times in my youth when I would put myself forward for a position even though I knew full well that part of my skillset was lacking, in the overconfident hope that I would be able to learn the needful in record time while on the job. Sometimes it would work out and sometimes I would go down in flames. I still have the burn marks from those times. Ouch.
The point is, a good recruiter is worth their weight in gold. In my experience, in this market, over the past few years, 25% of all the recruiters I've dealt with are in this category. They do their due diligence, call you on your BS, and follow up. They keep you in mind when they've determined that the current gig is not best for you and try to put your name up for a position that works to your strengths. But it is my job as a candidate to make sure that I have kept my skills in good condition and that I continually try to improve on them. I want to make sure that that no recruiter who deals with me ever regrets seeing my ugly mug darken their doorway, and I hope that I never regret hearing from the recruiter in the first place either.
That said, as a candidate, most of the gigs I've gotten recently came from old contacts, people who helped me along the way and people I was able to help as well. What goes around always comes around.
Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. -- Bill Gates