Recently, with the rise of social networks and the influence of Search engines, on several occasions I have had Recruiters/Headhunters say they "found me on LinkedIn" or "found me via Search engines" or some weak response like that, when I ask them how they got my contact info. On one occasions, I kept on probing on how they got my info and where they were from, and they quickly decided to end the phone call.

Being the skeptic, and being aware of the fraud that can be out there, I sometimes question the legitimacy of some of these recruiters. Should I hold off sending a resume until I can validate them? What sort of "innocent" questions can I pose to these recruiters to tell for sure that they are legitimate? What sort of follow up questions should I ask if they say they found me on LinkedIn or other online source to see if they are legit? Should I politely tell them that I'm not interested in such solicitations?

HMac's picture

Have you listened to the 'cast on dealing with recruiters? Plus, there was a PDF worksheet M/M put together to help. Among the "gems" on it that might resonate with you:

Recruiters work for the client company
You don't have to send a resume right away
If you don't like the recruiter, find a different one
Be professional

The only thing I'd add is to ask questions about the specific opportunity they're calling you about. And if they identify the company, you can always go to their website and to the job boards to see if it's listed - which means this recruiter doesn't have an exclusive, and probably doesn't have a retainer relationship. That alone doesn't knock them out IMO, but they're data points for you to consider....

jhack's picture

Their legitimacy isn't a function of how they found you. After all, their job is to find people. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can be found (that's kinda the point of the profile, after all...)

If you want to know whether they're legitimate, you need to ask them detailed questions about the search they're working on. Are they on retainer? Are they authorized to conduct the search? etc...

There are several good podcasts on MT re: handling calls from recruiters (March 20 and 27, 2006; October 2, 2006).

John Luchte's book is also a great resource.