Community Question | Should I Work With A Headhunter?

A green chalkboard filled with drawings of stick figures. There is a yellow stick figure in the middle.

At the beginning of your career, it is fairly common to tackle the job search on your own, but once you have some experience under your belt or are looking for a higher position, you may look for some help in the form of a recruiter. An Idealist recently sent us this question:

"I’m curious about working with a headhunter to help me find my next job. I recently finished my master’s in Organization Development and would like to work in education. Most of my background is in alternative education, like corporate training or knowledge management, but I’d like to work in K-12 education. I think a headhunter would be very helpful, but I’m having trouble finding one who works exclusively in education."

Over on US News On Careers Blog, Arnie Fertig writes, “Working with a recruiter can be a great benefit in your job hunt, but only if you understand their role in the hiring process. Unfortunately, too many people have misconceptions about what they do, and how to motivate them to be your advocate.” The rest of the article busts some of those misconceptions, including who a recruiter technically works for and how they are paid.

CareerBuilder also has some information you should know if you are going to work with a recruiter. There are several executive search firms that focus on nonprofits and even education, but it is often a more personal decision. There are folks who think it is a good idea and those who think it is a bad idea.

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