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I've been perplexed for the past couple of weeks. I've been getting calls left and right by different recruiters about some positions they have open. I had three recruiters contact me in one day and it's all been the same verbiage.

I'm told to email my resume and set-up an interview. Once they have all my information, puff, they are gone. No replies to emails, phones, etc.. and these are very well known companies. I can understand maybe couple of them doing that but a dozen? Smells a little fishy.

Is this something common in the recruitment industry in the US where once they get your info, they no longer keep in touch?

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I am based in Europe, but my experience is similar to your: most of the recruiters have the attention span of a 3 years old, and appear to be constantly chasing new CV. Once they got one, they look for another one. In some cases I even had to contact them to propose positions for which I felt fitting.

The pattern I have experienced here is:

  • find your CV on some database
  • call you and tell your CV is interesting, schedule a meeting
  • at the meeting boosting of their agency ("we are different than other agencies, because we care about people" for every agency I have been in contact with)
  • what I call "dead with mushrooms": no follow up unless a seemly suitable position appears within a couple of days

Recruiters, like many other people, work to earn money, not out of passion or mission. If they are paid based on certain metric, they will to their best to match that metric. If the metric is "# of new contacts in a month" something is bound to fail.

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I've dealt with many, many recruiters over the years and some patterns stand out.

  • They typically get paid for placing someone. The hiring company pays a percentage of the hiring salary to the recruiter's company.

  • They don't love you. You are their product, and they want to move product. Not to be too mean on them; they are professionals in their own field. Their interests and yours are similar, but can diverge, because...

  • They get a lot of resumes. A LOT of resumes. They will have more than they need for any one req (and can only pass so many to any one company). There has to be some reason for them to pick you instead of someone else.

So I'll address the implicit question of how to get more attention from them. Some thoughts...

Why not ask your recruiter? Call him up. Tell him "Hey Chet [1], we talked on the phone the other day, but I haven't gotten any follow-through. Where are we disconnecting here?" The point here is twofold:

  • You want to become a person to your recruiter. Stand out in his memory, and you're more likely to "win" in those all-else-being-equal resume triages.

  • There may be a reason he's not submitting you, or that he is but companies aren't biting. Recruiter is a resume expert, and can probably give you some pretty sharp feedback on what's wrong with your CV.

I've done this and have gotten good results.

[1] If his name isn't Chet, you may need to edit a bit.

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