Job search advice wanted

I moved to Pittsburgh this summer, now that Mr. Neville has gotten a faculty job with the University of Pittsburgh. I’m looking for a job here, specifically one doing Unix or Linux system administration.

I’ve been working with some recruiters, and I have heard from them that it’s not in my interest to apply twice (once on my own, once through a recruiter) for the same job. They have told me that that makes it likely that the HR people looking at the resumes will notice my duplicate submissions and throw both of them out. Does anyone know if that’s true, or are they saying that because it’s in their interest to submit my application to a particular employer?

Does anyone have any experience working with this kind of recruiters, or any helpful advice? Anybody know of any particularly good or bad recruiters in this area?

Does anyone know of any companies (or any of the universities) that are looking for someone in my line of work in this area?

My specific situation is that I was in a more specialized job of installing and managing software for a few years, and now I want to get back into the system administration side of things (the place where I worked valued programmers more highly than system administrators IMO, and there was some pressure on me to go more toward writing code, which I do not want to do). Any advice on breaking back into system administration, or on making it clear to prospective employers that that’s what I want to do?

Any job-search advice in general? The last time I looked for a job was the summer of 2001. I really hate the process of job-hunting, so I tend to stay in a job for a while.

Expressions of sympathy or hugs are welcome, too- I’ve been searching for a while, and I’m pretty sure I botched a phone interview yesterday (they asked me technical questions I couldn’t answer), so I’m feeling pretty stupid right now.

I wish you good luck with the hunt, I’m about to embark on it myself and it’s all a bit nerve-wracking.

IANA Recruitment expert, but I do know that recruiters only get paid if the CV comes through them. They’ve got a vested interest in encouraging you not to apply directly.

I can see some sense in the argument that receiving 2 CVs from the same person might be a bit confusing, but I bet it happens quite often particularly given that many people go to multiple recruitment agencies.

Mostly I think this is a crock, in that they are telling you this in their own interest. However, it is not playing fair to get a lead through a recruiter, then submit a resume on your own. A recruiter may well quit working with you if you do this. If the employer gets your resume from the recruiter, they are probably obligated to hire you through the recruiter (this may depend on the specifics of the employer’s relationship with the recruiter, but is common.) If it happens by accident (say, you respond to an ad in the paper), then IMHO it won’t be held against you, but may create some conflict between the employer and the recruiter. This conflict might push them toward another candidate, but probably not if the employer really wants you.

To the extent possible, find an effective division of labor. You focus on the things you can do, working your network, polishing skills, etc., and let the recruiter focus on what they can do–getting you interviews with their clients. If one recruiter isn’t getting you interviews, work with another.

You know that the University of Pittsburgh (and most other universities, for that matter) has an online job search, right? Just look and see if there’s anything that could work for you and apply online. You can do that with most hospitals, too, particularly if they are affiliated with universities.

There’s also for finding online listings of jobs.

Over 90% of my “through a recruiter” leads, I didn’t know which was the company involved until WAY late in the process. Or never, if I didn’t get that far. Heck, most of them respond with “uh?” to my question about which sector are we talking about (I work in Quality, Maintenance and Production mostly, areas which are very different in, say, the Electric Power and Pharma sectors).

So long as the two resumes aren’t too different, most companies would be pleased that you’ve had the interest to submit one to them directly. But of course, if you get hired directly (which can also happen because you submitted the resume yourself but not through the agent), there’s no commision for the agent.

Anybody who’s on commision is never, ever, your friend.

OK, that makes sense.

Yup, been there. Problem is, some universities, on matters of hiring, seem to move at a pace more normally associated with continental drift… I don’t like the waiting :frowning:

I haven’t heard of submitting the resume yourself after a recruiter has submitted one for you, but I have heard of people working with two different recruiters, both of which who submit the person’s resume for the same job. That’s not cool. You also want to be certain that you’re notified each time the recruiter submits your resume - just so that you know which companies it’s gone out to so that you can be more prepared if a call comes in. I’ve heard of recruiters submitting resumes willy-nilly without informing their client, which also never ends well.

But best of luck to you in your search - I hope you find the perfect position.

If you already had your Resume in before the recruiter contacted you, fine. But like Harriet the Spry mentioned, it is not kosher to get Headhunted then put your resume in directly.

Use Monster, Careerbuilder, and Craigslist. Post your resume on the first two, after getting it checked by a pro to make sure it has the righter buzzwords the bots will look for in your profession.