First, what is spamming your resume?
Spamming your resume is sending the same resume with the same cover letter out to a large list of people, without personalization or finding out if this list wants to see your resume. If you send to a large list where everyone is blind CC’d (or worse, just CC’d so everyone sees everyone else’s email), it’s definitely spam, gets a very low response rate, and is a way to alienate your contacsts. It’s a really bad idea in job search.
But there’s an exception - Your spammed resume can be effective sending to this audience
Recruiters - Sending your resume widely to recruiters who focus on your industry, job function or level can be a very effective way to be considered for more positions. If you’re a Supply Chain professional in the auto industry, send your resume to every Supply Chain and auto industry recruiter you can find.
Recruiters are trained to tell you otherwise
Recruiters will rarely admit that this is an effective tactic, and will warn you about the dangers. They’ve been trained to do this - I know, I’ve trained many. Recruiters are trained to try to get you to work exclusively with them, using scare tactics concerning “Double Submissions” (the same resume coming from 2 different recruiters - and that a hiring manager will reject double submissions out of fear of lawsuits from two competing recruiters). Realistically, employers typically track which resume came from which recruiter (or direct from candidate), and the date/time it was received via email or web submission system - first one wins so there’s rarely a real threat of lawsuit to the employer.
If a recruiter asks you to work exclusively with them, just reply that you don’t think it’s in your best interest. If they use scare “Double submission” scare tactics, remind them that it won’t be an issue if they follow your instructions of asking your permission first before they send your resume to a recruiter.
It’s an advantage to the recruiter if you work exclusively with them, but it’s to your disadvantage
Recruiters have been trained to know this - If you are working exclusively with them, then they are more likely to get you to accept a job offer. Since each recruiter only sees a small fraction of the job market, it’s not to your advantage. I used to run offices for one of the largest recruiting firms, and the largest in my segment - we only saw a fraction of the jobs in our market and we had over 100 recruiters covering just Chicago.
Protect yourself against double submissions
The fact is, you can protect yourself from double submissions by stating on a letter to recruiters (or at the end of your resume) that they get your permission first before submitting your resume to a hiring manager. If a recruiter submits first, fire them via an email (or fax) stating that you no longer approve their representation because they violated your requirement of gaining your permission before sending your resume to employers.
Smaller single office recruiting firms work nationally, larger ones work in local markets with complicated rules about which recruiter can work with you. If you live in LA but want to work in NYC, send your resume only to NYC recruiters from large firms, but to everyone at smaller single office firms.
Which recruiters should you work with?
Initially, work with the ones who want to work with you, by responding to your resume. Sometimes this will be a recruiter who worked with you before, but that’s not guaranteed. Sometimes it may be a recruiter that you used to hire employees, but that’s not guaranteed either - not everyone concentrates on management or executive positions. Recruiters can change industry or functional focus, even if they don’t change firms.
It will be easy for you to weed out recruiters based on their interest. Focus on the ones who seem the most interested in representing you and fire the ones who break your permission before sending rule. Most will be somewhere in between - you may not wish to invest time with them, but why fire them? Next week, If a recruiter gets a job description where you are the best fit (of many candidates), you all of a sudden will find yourself showered with attention.
How can you successfully work with recruiters to promote you ahead of others?
I cover that extensively in http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/03/inside-track-on-recruiters-top-10-tips.html .
How can you find recruiters in your geography and space? Simple - search Linkedin, but make sure you have a broad enough network (recommended 500+) so that enough names will show up on your search. Linkedin allows free accounts to see 100 names in a search maximum, so search in a couple of different ways based on different titles, different keywords, and different industry terms.
So why wouldn’t you send your resume to every recruiter in your geography and space?
Readers - Any tips that you’ve found to be successful with recruiters? Please share in the comments below.
Recruiters - Your comments and insight will be much appreciated.
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