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Since I'm looking for a job and have posted my resume on several national sites for open positions, I regularly get called by recruiters from different consultancy bureaus, recruitment agencies, temp job agencies and similar companies, usually 1 to 3 times a week. When I explain what I'm looking for (a C# or Java developer job near my home town) and the reason why (no driver's license), roughly 90 % of them state that the position they're calling me for doesn't fit that profile. Once this happens, they usually say they will keep my resume on file and contact me when they got another position available (which usually means they won't contact me again).

For my job coaching, I have to keep a list of the companies that contacted me and on what date. (Here, "job coaching" refers to the government or a non-profit that help an unemployed person in finding their job. This ranges from helping with the resume and interview practice to unpaid internships for experience and networking purposes.)

The problem is that many of these companies I've never heard of before, and they only give the name once. And even then, I still don't know how to write it. So I usually ask the recruiter at the end of the conversation if they can mail me their contact info. This doesn't always quite work out, and I often end up having to just write down "recruitment agency" or "consultancy bureau".

Should I give them the reason why I would like them to mail me their info? And if so, which reason should I give?

  1. "I didn't quite get what company you are calling for" (honest, but maybe a little bit like "I don't care what company you call for")
  2. "I have to keep a list of companies who contact me for their job coaching" (honest as well, but sounds like "I'd rather not have to do this")
  3. "Could I get your info so I can call you back if I found something on my own?" (even if I don't intend to do so)

Or is there a better way to get their info? I could call back if they haven't given me their info yet (if they don't use a private number), but most recruiters probably won't even remember me.

  • Given the frequency with which they contact you, it seems that isn't an issue (and in my experience, it's limiting the contact that is typically more problematic). It would appear that the number of opportunities that meet your criteria is the limiting factor. When you search for jobs yourself, are you finding many in the local area? – Laconic Droid Jun 29 '15 at 16:19
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    @JoeStrazzere The work someone has to do if they're receiving unemployment like apply for so many jobs, reasons why an offered job wasn't accepted, update/polish resume, network, etc. – mkennedy Jun 29 '15 at 17:03
  • @mkennedy What did Joe say? What are you responding to? – Andyz Smith Jun 30 '15 at 11:43
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    @JoeStrazzere Ok, perhaps we should delete some of these comments and make an actual question, like "What is job coaching, job counseling, unemployment compensation", and just link to that instead of scattering these 'definitions' conversations all over this person's question. – Andyz Smith Jun 30 '15 at 12:02
  • @joeStrazzere In this case, job coaching is not exactly what you edited it to be. It is true that in Belgium, the unemployed need to be actively looking for a job when collecting benefits, but that's not the job coaching itself. The job coaching I'm refering to is either the government or a non-profit that help an unemployed person in finding their job. This ranges from helping with the resume and interview practice to unpaid internships for experience and networking purposes. In case Andy makes that question, I can explain it further. – Nzall Jun 30 '15 at 14:49
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For my job coaching, I have to keep a list of the companies that contacted me and on what date.

It's always best to focus on the most important aspects of a conversation first.

So when a recruiter calls, before you start discussing your qualifications and limitations, ask the recruiter's name and company. If it's really necessary, you can also ask for their email and phone number. Write it down immediately, so you can report it for your job coaching purposes. If necessary, just say "Hang on a second please, while I write down your contact information."

If you wait until your conversation has ended, you'll be less successful trying to elicit the contact information, particularly if they conclude that you don't fit the job profile.

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When an agent calls you out of the blue, do not tell them anything that may rule you out of the job (such as the lack of a driving license) until you have seen a job spec. Simply say the job sounds interesting and ask them to email you the details. If they are serious, they will.

Some agents will cold call in an effort to fill a vacancy they have simply seen on a job board. They have no relationship with the company at all, and no more details about the job than what you could find yourself by googling. These guys are mostly time-wasters. They are only interested in getting your details on their database and there is no effort to understand your wants. These guys go on my blacklist.

  • Not everyone reads all job postings all the time. If a recruiter contacts you about a job that's posted on a job board, they are essentially doing work on behalf of the employer, even if there's no official relationship. Some of these recruiters are of course unscrupulous, but that's not always the case. – mcknz Jun 29 '15 at 16:42
  • I'm just a bit curious, no dis' but how much effort do you expend on trying to enforce the blacklist? If you do enforce....can you help me do that? I mean, I changed my number, but people paid to call about 'Telebubbies' keep calling. Is there some way I can blacklist them too? – Andyz Smith Jun 29 '15 at 23:03
  • The reason I say I don't have a driver's license up front is so I don't end up in a situation where I can't get to the job (or interview) location in a reasonable manner, because there are no buses or trains that stop nearby. Also, since I'm looking for work in the ICT sector, about half of the companies that contact me are consultancy companies that require a driver's license since you need to be able to go all over Belgium for them. – Nzall Jun 30 '15 at 9:39
  • @Nzall In my professional experience, being upfront is not necessarily the best policy, because usually, any money-making business is not being up-front with you. Even nice people who you work for, at a good job, are still subject to investors who come in, change the rules, and generally mess things up. So, in this kind of environment, best to stay flexible, in your statements, let the other side show you what their expectations are - if they say, Do you have a driver's license, you say, no. if they say, can you do this work, you say yes. Maybe somehow you can get a ride? – Andyz Smith Jun 30 '15 at 12:06
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Tell them you're busy and if they could just drop you an email with their contact details you will call them back. If they don't email you at this point, they were up to no good anyway.

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Ask them to e-mail their contact information and a copy of the job description.

Also, be sure your profile is listed on the major job websites, such as Dice, Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder. This has led to my getting job postings (with contact info) from recruiters every day, often before -- or instead of -- a call from the recruiter.

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