Ask Barb: What Sets You Apart From Your Competition?

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Jun 27, 2012

Dear Barb:

I attended a conference in Denver where you were the speaker. You asked us why a candidate should send their resume to us vs. our competition. I was one of the recruiters who didn’t have an answer and was grateful you didn’t call on me. The problem is I still don’t have an answer. I have not been that successful as a recruiter and I have less than one year of experience. We place engineers and I don’t know that much about engineering or our clients. Can you give me a reason why someone should use me?

Jim W., Denver, CO

Dear Jim:

Unfortunately, I can’t give you an answer – this has to come from you. Often what differentiates you is the level of service you provide, your commitment to helping candidates find a job, or the successes of your company in a particular profession or niche.

You need to read what your candidates read, research the Associations they support and make it your business to learn about the engineering profession. You also need to take home open job orders, study them, and then ask the recruiter who wrote the order your questions. It is obvious you are not confident which could be what is holding you back. Trade publications will help educate you and often articles provide job order leads. Trade Associations keep their members informed and they are a wealth of information. Often their members are the top talent your clients want to hire.

Work with your owner or manager to come up with your personal brand and become proficient at presenting why candidates should choose you to represent them!

Barbara J. Bruno, CPC, CTS

Would you like to Ask Barb a question? Email her at Each month in The Fordyce Letter print edition, Barbara Bruno answers questions from individuals in the Recruiting Profession. We will bring you some of these Q&A responses from Barb each week on

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