Benefits of working with Recruiters to find SQL Server jobs

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You have decided to start "testing the waters" and explore other SQL Server opportunities. You start your job search, and quickly realize that things have changed quite a bit since you last looked for a job. It seems that most job postings listed online are by Recruiters, and your friends in the industry tell you that many of the jobs their companies have don't even get posted. How do you conduct an effective job search and ensure you're made aware of relevant opportunities? Who can you partner with to ensure your bases are covered?


The "job search game" has changed considerably over the last decade. How candidates identify opportunities and how companies identify and recruit talent has also changed. Most companies now have either a dedicated Corporate Recruiting function and/or work with at least one staffing firm to recruit talent, especially Information Technology professionals. Therefore, it's beneficial to work with 2-3 Recruiters at larger companies who have a good client base during your job search.

In an effective Recruiter and Job Seeker partnership, you will give an overview of your background, competencies, and interests/preferences, and the Recruiter will alert you of any applicable opportunities that match your qualifications and motivators. Quality Recruiters can act as an ‘Opportunity Matchmaker' for you, keeping you informed of any clients they support who have openings that match what you've told them.

What are some additional reasons why you should consider partnering with 2-3 quality Recruiters during your job search? I'm glad you asked, because there's several!


  • Get access to more companies and opportunities.
    • Many staffing firms have large client bases and know which companies are using SQL Server within their environment. Great Recruiters will not only have an understanding of their major clients, but they'll be able to listen to what you're targeting and have companies in mind that they work with to match your interests and goals.
  • Learn about positions before they're posted!
    • Most firms have Account Managers or Sales Representatives who are dedicated to keeping in communication with their respective clients, so they're often well aware of any large database projects or any SQL Server hiring needs. Often times, you could hear about an opening before the position gets posted, since it's a main priority of these Account Managers to be aware of these hiring needs. Therefore, working with a Recruiter can give you access to proactive openings that you may have otherwise never known about from your own research.
  • Additional insight about a company, their environment, their goals, a Manager, and their team.
    • Again, a priority of most staffing firms is developing a long-term relationship with clients, and hiring Managers at those clients. Therefore, Recruiters and Account Managers have a track record with these clients and Managers, and can give you "insider knowledge." They can provide you details like what the hiring Managers look for, what candidates they've placed there in the past like about the company, short-term and long-term projects and other objectives of the company, and more! All this information can also give you a leg up!
  • Better feedback.
    • A common frustration I've heard from candidates is that they often don't know where they stand in the process of being considered for an opportunity, and if they get ruled out, they wish they knew more feedback on why they were disqualified. It's part of a Recruiters job to keep a pulse on the status of an opportunity, and your candidacy for it. It's also their job to get feedback on your resume and interview(s), if they can, and relay that feedback to you. If they don't provide feedback proactively, keep in mind that you can always request it of them! Getting constructive feedback, and then applying it, will only improve your candidacy for other opportunities going forward!
  • Get Career Services advice.
    • Many tenured and customer service oriented Recruiters provide career guidance and coaching, such as suggestions to improve your resume, insight on what technologies are trending, what certifications clients may be asking for, interview insight/assistance, what user groups or other resources they'd recommend you scope out, and more!
Next Steps

Now you have a handful of reasons why it's beneficial to partner with Recruiters. This list isn't all-encompassing by any means, but enough to prove the point that working with Recruiters can be an effective means of going about your SQL Server job search! Now what?

As you start identifying Recruiters to work with, and developing partnerships, make the most of the partnership through any of the following suggestions.

  1.  Give Recruiters as clear a picture as possible about your Motivators. What are you looking for in your next opportunity? What technologies do you want to work with? What types of projects?
  2.  View Recruiters as "Professional Development Consultants" and ask for feedback on your resume. How does it look? What is it missing? How does it stack up amongst other candidates the Recruiter has seen with a similar skill set? How else can I enhance it?
  3.  Ask questions such as "What else can you tell me about this client, Manager, opportunity, etc… to help me perform at my best?" OR "What else can you do to help set me up for success for this interview?" to help trigger Recruiters you're working with to shed additional insight during the interview process!

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Erica Woods Erica Woods has nearly a decade in the IT staffing world, an MBA, and is a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 11:40:40 AM - Erica Back To Top (34509)

Great points, Joe!  Referrals are the best way to go when looking for a new Recruiter.  I would definitely recommend asking anyone in your network who's recently done a job search if they worked with any Recruiters they recommend and/or asking the Leaders of your local SQL Server user group (as they often have a lot of Recruiter contacts, since staffing firms sponsor user groups frequently).  You can also search, and vet, Recruiters via LinkedIn too!

Thanks also for making the point about the differences between Recruiters and Headhunters.  It's always good to keep in mind that just like you want to market yourself as best as possible to hiring Managers, you want to do this with any Recruiters you speak with as well.  Especially for any jobs you want to be considered for through Recruiters, it's a good best practice to communicate exactly why you're a fit for that position. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 6:42:19 PM - Joe DBA Back To Top (34499)

Might I add, when identifying potentiial recruiters, always get referrals -- there are some recruiters out there who are really good and ethical, and there are some not so much

Also, be aware that a recruiter is paid to fill company/client needs, not to get jobs for job seekers -- when dealing with a recruiter think in terms of "how can I help them fill their requirement" vs "can they get me a job?"

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 12:38:44 AM - Mohammed Back To Top (32270)

Good one Erica.

Friday, June 13, 2014 - 9:17:05 PM - Tim Cullen Back To Top (32237)

Great article, Erica!

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