Other Search Methods

On Line Active

The Internet, Net or as it's most commonly known, the World Wide Web is bringing a wealth of knowledge from all corners of the world to your PC every time you log in. From your computer you can go to company Web sites and learn about that company. History, products, contact information, career opportunities are among some of the topics one will find at a company web site. Enough said, go on line.


Many people who are in decent situations rather have opportunity come knocking on their door, instead of taking time to find doors to knock on. Rather than spend hours going through newspaper ads, phone books and WEB sites yourself there are many employment agencies who will be more than happy to try to match you with an employer. This passive search method lets you live your life while someone else looks to improve it

If you think an employer may lie to get you knowing that he (or she) will be stuck with you, an agency who will only deal with you for an hour may do worst. Most agencies will look out for both the candidate and the employer. The good agencies realize that they must be good to employers as to maintain a demand for their service and good to candidates as to be able to maintain a supply for the demand. Even the best agencies may have a bad apple every so often, so proceed to an agency with caution.

A good agency does not only try to match skills, but will try to match personalities as well. A good agent will first interview a candidate before representing them. The agent will ask the candidate about skills, career goals, the candidate's idea of the ideal job as to learn about the person to be represented. Before arranging an interview, the agent should contact the candidate with a description of the position as to verify the candidate's interest. Many agents will coach a candidate before an interview. A good agent will inform the candidate on the personalities that will be doing the interview. The agent will give the candidate a information about the company, the politics on the inside and some other information about the company that you could not get from a newspaper ad or a web site. A good agent will give you a few pointers on how to better sell yourself to the company, while a bad agent will tell you what to say and not say. Remember, a lie is not only what you say, but also what you consciencely omit.

A good agent will try to match your skills to the company's needs. Good agents familiar with the field may match candidate skills which can closely match job requirements. A job requiring Fox-Pro knowledge could be filled by a candidate with dBaseIII+ experience. Agents unfamiliar with the field may miss such a close match. Agents who are looking to fit bodies into positions will tell you to just say "yes" and nothing more. If your skills are only a subset required by the company, you are letting the agent set you up for some trouble, unless you are honest with the employer.

Sometimes agents will let you know some things about the company which should not be repeated at the interview. An agent might know that a certain portion of the employees are looking to leave that company because the agent is also representing those employees, a fact unknown to their employer. A nice piece of information to add to the list of items to consider. Other times an agent might ask you not to repeat something which you should question before accepting an offer. When the company has made you the offer, take a few minutes and question everything that was said by the agent. One good example is to question the starting offer package if the agent said to take whatever is offered. Candidates caught in this situation may be told that the company starts everyone at a low probationary rate, then gives a massive increase to the people the company wishes to keep at the employee's first review. Question what you were told by the agent, for now the ball is in your court, the company has made you the offer.

Fees Involved

Most of these agencies work for you for free, deriving their income from the hiring companies. Some agencies may work on a contingency bases, requiring a portion of your salary (and possibly bonuses) for a specified period of time. These agencies may require to use them exclusively to the point that they conduct your job search. That's OK if you are in the passive search mode, but such may confine you if you wish to be more active.

A good agency with work with you, not for you; letting you find your own leads. A good agent will inquire as to the names of your latest leads so that his (her) list will not conflict with yours. Upon giving you a new lead, the agent will insist he or she be made aware of any developments which came about due to that lead. If you beat the agent to a lead, through a newspaper, WWW job posting, friend, walk-in inquiry, etc... then you should not be under any obligation to the agent.


The above agencies will job hunt free for you. There are a small bunch of scum sucking leaches who also charge the candidates before starting the search. These fees start at a few hundred and can work their way up to thousands of dollars. They will claim that they have a list of employers in your area looking to hire people with your skills. Their next argument will be that by putting up the fee yourself, you are showing these companies your enthusiasm. My opinion - your showing your desperation.

"Good help is hard to find", is a famous old quote, thus if you are good, the companies are looking for you! To add to that, as the American educational system continues to strive towards mediocracey, good help is going to be harder to find. In short, if you have a few hundred to burn, try this type of agency, otherwise save your money for the rainy day which may be in your future. (Reality can inhale air royally at times (for the 10 stupid people - Reality sucks!))

Traditional Methods

There is also the traditional job search methods, but there are tons of book available on those topics as well.

© 1998 Frederick M. Picroski