This is an important topic that I want to hit on early because it's beyond important. And because I think that many, many job seekers don't get this:
Recruiters? We are not your agents.
We aren't sitting at our desks with a roster of favorite candidates, madly dialing up companies to find the perfect job for you. (That, my friend, is YOUR job.)
I know that can be frustrating to hear. Especially when you're in that "Oh shit, I just got canned" manic panic mode. (This, by the way, usually hits just about three days after a layoff, shortly after you've cleared out your surplus of Johnny Walker Red and Ding Dongs.)
But it's the truth, and you shall prevail if you understand how recruiters work before you waste a minute calling every one you've ever talked to.
Generally speaking, recruiting firms get hired by corporations with open positions that they're struggling to fill. Sometimes, this relationship is formed as a retained search; more often today, a contingency search.
What this means to you is this: