Education Career Services

January 7, 2009

A Brief Summary Describing Recruiters and Career Service Firms

It’s been a rather hectic week as the New Year began with a shake.  Hope you and yours experienced a safe and warm transition.  Let’s get to the core and if you have any questions, feel free to take a shot.


RECRUITERS:  At the high-end of the pay scale, recruiters represent specific employers (or claim to).  They typically offer a single strategy and don’t help in document creation or personal preparation.  They may critique your résumé but be wary as many are in it for their own strategy.  To make the introduction between you and their client company, they typically charge 15% to 20% of your annual salary (they tell you the company pays for it but it comes right off your compensation—you just never see it, thus, ignorance is not always bliss). 


Value:  Expensive.  If they get you a job, it’s costly, but you have the job.


Drawbacks:  You will probably need to hire someone else to write your résumé, and it will only be good for recruiters.  Using a recruiter alone is putting your eggs in one basket and for a 360-degree career search, this method is not always recommended.


CAREER SERVICES FIRMS: Our company falls into this category, but be warned, career service companies can span affordable to ridiculously expensive.  Some CS firms provide very few services.  While we handle all phases, some handle only document creation and charge upward of $5,000 for two documents.  The key to engaging a Career Services firm and avoiding scams and outright fraud is to confirm Credibility and Services, and always read the User Agreement.


A good CS firm is accredited by certified associations such as National Resume Writer’s Association or Professional Resume Writers Association. They offer certified services spanning Strategy to Distribution.  CSI, for example, provides career coaching from certified career coaches, document creation from certified résumé writers, verified research of corporate contacts, and direct mailing services.  In addition, clients receive an online portal including access to a Career Manual describing today’s job market realities and strategies to prevail.


Value: Quality service and materials from career professionals.  Their goal is to optimize your ability to achieve your career goals.


Drawbacks:  The potential for scams and fraud is high.  Do your due diligence and check reputable sources such as the associations listed above as well as spots such as (be sure your sources don’t offer similar services; if they do, their advice may be tainted).


We will revisit both definitions in the issues to come but for now, let’s call it a day. I do look forward to expanding on these concepts and will take your queue as a springboard.


Danny Huffman


Blog at