Using a Recruiter - does it work?

I’ve met with many recruiters from many different agencies job searching to do this:

  • Send them my resume over email
  • They want to revise my already revised resume, and literally chop up my resume to lie for me on paper to “sound better” (not even my own words matter on MY resume)
  • Ask me to come in physically to the recruiting office before they will send my resume over.
  • Days go by…the job has been listed for over a week now…
  • They promise me they’ll send my resume over to the employer, and see if they hear back.
  • I never hear back…


  • They promise me they’ll send my resume over to the employer, and see if they hear back.
  • I get told the company is interested in me, and would like me to interview with them
  • I never hear back…


  • I go meet with the recruiter, they re-write my resume that’s already perfect, and then go on to tell me they have no jobs available.
  • Or they suggest irrelevant jobs that I may possibly be interested in
  • Never even mention the original job I applied to that got me in the recruiting office in the first place. Was that a fake job to lure me in?

Have recruiters ever really gotten you a job before? What agencies did you use? Which ones never helped you?


I’ve worked with them agencies and they’ve been OK. I would say there are a few that ignore you and never have courtesy to call you and talk about your skills and careers goals:
JBC is very unprofessional, they never reply or send you a note with updates on your submission.
Fourth Floor also never replies. (specially if you are from our out NYC)
Jessilyn Personnel
Jaral Fashion Inc.


I’ve been working in the apparel industry for 19 years now (in design and in tech) and have only gotten hired through recruiters 3 times, despite many moves/changes in my career. And my overall opinion of recruiters has been that they are (sometimes) a necessary evil, but definitely not on the side of the jobseeker.

There was a Design role I got through 24Seven, and overall the interview process went seamlessly, and on paper/in the interview, it seemed like a great job. Fast forward 2 months in, I’m hating it- but the recruiter pressured me to stay there (they only get their full commission after 3 months) and refused to help me look for something else.

JBC placed me in 1 role; they have sent me on a few interviews, but usually they don’t respond or I find out the posting I’m excited about it months old or expired.

Fourth Floor just flat out will not respond. They used to, 5 years ago, but now I can’t get through to anyone.

It’s frustrating, but you kind of just have to work the system, since that’s how many companies hire.


I’ve gone in multiple times to Fourth Floor with my heavy portfolio and dressed professionally, and they didn’t even look at it. Just wanted to re-write my resume, then left me hanging. Just said “I’ll let you know if I have anything” when clearly I had applied to a job I thought existed. My resume was never sent to that company. I was given 3 different recruiters here, never got further than the “recruiting office interview.”

Same with Winston Staffing - I was applying to the same job (under different job titles being posted on StyleCareers) for MONTHS… it was always the same recruiter, and I went in 3 times. She didn’t even mention the job I applied to, and only tried to push other jobs at me where my skills would be an after thought. They were irrelevant to my skills and had nothing to do with what I was searching for. I gave her my resume (after she too wanted to re-write it but I declined to let her) and she said she would send my resume off…next thing that happens - NOTHING…
I brought my entire heavy portfolio, was professionally dressed, had everything nicely presented, and she was uninterested in even taking a look at my portfolio.

These recruiters also will NEVER tell you what the company is. How is that helping me? What if I already applied there? You supply your own list of where you’ve applied to recruiters, only for them to take that information from you as a free resource for them to exploit.


I’ve had wonderful experiences with solo recruiters that either work by themselves or operate a small boutique agency. The only bigger agency I’ve had good luck with is Syndicate Bleu, I’ve worked with a couple of very good recruiters there.

24 Seven is garbage both from a prospective employer and employee standpoint. I’ve had to use them to recruit for positions because they were contracted HR to be the agency of record and they send THE WORST candidates over. They also have horrible follow up when you’re a jobseeker and I’ve never seen a worthwhile position from them.

Creative Circle also rarely has any worthwhile positions for my skillset and they also have horrible follow through. When I’ve had to use them to fill positions they also send terrible candidates over. I think it’s a matter of their recruiters not really knowing how to interpret a good portfolio from a bad portfolio. Creative recruiting is a very particular skill.

All of my jobs in the past 12 year I’ve gotten through recruiters contacting me via LinkedIn, but most of them have not been part of a big agency.


Never had much success with recruiters

I’ve gotten two positions from recruiters, and they were hell jobs. I’ve applied for plenty and received no response usually or been contacted and offered to consider a position that I was well over qualified for. I’m at the design director level. If the candidate is over qualified then the recruiter looks like a hero but the candidate gets less pay and will be unsatisfied and leave.

24/7 puts vastly under qualified people in their “temp” positions so they can mark up their cut of the fee, which is what a solo experienced freelancer would make.


In my 15 years in the industry, every job I’ve gotten has been through word of mouth, referrals, the job poster finding me on linkedin through a search, or applying directly to the job post myself. Recruiters have never been helpful with my job search or they will low-ball my salary range instead of fighting for my worth.


That sounds like SPG! Lying asses! And they will tell you a higher rate knowing that is not the rate and try to place you as an assistant when you were a director. And they do not negotiate on your behalf because they want repeat business. The very definition of slavery - trading and selling humans for your personal gain

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After looking for a job for the last year I despise working with recruiters and in house recruiters. In house recruiters are like guard dogs and if you can’t get past them you won’t get an interview. I’ve been successful getting two design jobs through 24/7 because they “recruited” me. When I reached out for help finding a new position, they were garbage. I find recruiters are most helpful when they find YOU, not the other way around. Also, if you get a contract/temp position through a recruiter, the cost to hire you is super expensive and most companies won’t swing for it. In my experience.


Hi All

I have been on both sides of the table. Using recruiters to find team members and using recruiters to find me a new job like I am now. But of course 90% of the job search is you sending out resumes direct to the companies.

I am a Multi Store Retail executive by the way, so that is my perspective.

Of all the firms out there 24/7 is by far the worst. Even if you know the VP’s (and I do) they still don’t respond. I have no idea how that firm is still in business. They had someone good but she left in 2019.

The following recruiting firms have been helpful to me over the last 15 years but you really need to establish a rapport with one of the recruiters internally so if and when you see something they are placing for you, you can immediately reach out to them and express interest. They get too many resumes and it’s hard to remember everyone even with keyword searches of their data base and algorithm to bring up applicable candidates from their resume databases.

If they truly have something they think you will be a fit for they will jump all over it and be in constant contact as that is how they earn their living. Typical payments from a company to a recruiter is 20-25% of your base salary they negotiate.

Decent firms in my opinion:

Bowerman Group
Fourth Floor
JBC (they have a few companies internally that recruit)
Bradford Staffing
Brobston Group

I hope this has been helpful.

Good luck to everyone.


Recruiters have not worked for me. I’ve contacted 4th Floor and JBC and have received zero replies. I had calls with Brobston Group, even met with William personally and nothing came out of it. It was the ever so kind dismissal: Impressive resume, incredible experience, but you are way to overqualified… HUH??? I inquired about a job I knew I was perfect for, only to be told it was too junior for me… Uhm… ok. So in summary… no, recruiting companies have not been of help.

Once you reach a certain seniority, you really have to work with the independent recruiters and not the large agencies. There’s an extremely private network of recruiters that place people in very high profile roles. They are working globally and independently. You have to get on all of their radars because they all get different profiles to fill. You need to work with the recruiters not only in NY, but Paris, London, and Italy. A recruiter in Paris may be working on a high profile role in NY and you may not even be on their radar.


Brobston is a newer agency and I feel he has hard time finding accounts to place with him. I spoke to him this week and he told me he shut down for a bit due to Covid but is now back open. I also met with William in 2008 and nothing came of it. But other recruiters have been more helpful and one landed me an interview since Covid hit and another one submitted my resume for a role.

I am finding its just important to have a recruiter who knows the industry. If I’m explaining the industry and what certain roles do then I’m concerned about if you know what you’re doing.I’ve had 2 recruiters recently email me to connect and then I never hear from them again. What is happening? I am also noticing a lot of companies do not want to use them, they post there own freelance on sites. To each his own, but I need you to know the industry so that I can feel confident.

I’ve been placed with a recruiting firm before, about 4 years ago. I’ve had similar experiences with every fashion recruiting firm…JBC, Winston, FourthFloor, 24 Seven, SBH…you name it, I’ve worked with them.

When the interview process goes well, they are there to help, and the experience is very pleasant. Otherwise, they will neglect/ghost you and focus their attention on a better candidate. I can’t really blame them as it’s their job to place, and that’s their priority, but as someone looking for a new job, they could really use some training on etiquette once they place the role with someone else, or even an update is appreciated.

I’ve learned to not take it personally in the end and accept they only care about placing, and not particularly you and your job search.

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It worked for me many times, but seems like you get lower rate/wage because employer has to pay to recruiters and they basically taking your money for themselves.

Todd at Jessilyn in NYC is absolutely awful.

He tried to pressure me into taking a lower wage lower level role than I was qualified for clearly because he was trying to fill it, and he did so by insulting my experience, resume and portfolio. I didn’t fall for it and another recruiter got me a different job for literally double the salary.

Later, todd reached out to me looking for someone to fill an ENTRY LEVEL role and again I was like, yeah that’s WAY below my level, but I actually do know a great candidate for it - a former intern of mine. I connected them against my better judgement because she’s really talented and was having trouble finding a role and the one he had was perfect for her.
She met with him and he made comments about her extremely beautiful and carefully styled natural hair being unprofessional, so that’s racist AF.
Throw that guy out with the trash.

On the other hand, I had great experiences with SBH staffing in NYC and 24/7 in Los Angeles.

Recruiters for full time positions don’t take a cut of your pay, they get a commission based on what YOU get. So the more they negotiate for you, the more they earn themselves. That said, I’ve always pushed recruiters to ask for more, and phrased it as being for both of us. An extra 20k for me is an extra 2k for them and that’s not nothing! New York recruiters seem to be fairly good at this and so far my experience is that LA recruiters are a bit shy and need to be pushed but are happy to ask for more if you can give them talking points on why it’s deserved.

Clearly as the applicants we should not have to coach our recruiters, but it is what it is.

Lastly, I have never had a recruiter even reply to me when I applied cold, even if they had a listing for a job I was perfectly qualified for. I highly recommend you get recruiter introductions from industry colleagues who have been placed by them before. Have them email them with you on CC making an introduction and immediately follow with your resume and portfolio link. This gives you a vouch of sorts and seems to help a lot with response rates.


Ive mostly had sucess with companies like Fourthfloor and Atrium. I have tried to go through other recruiters but nothing turns up really.

I am however getting tired of seeing these recruiters on LinkedIn who are not reading profiles before messaging. Its a waste of time if there is a crucial experience need such as a software or craftsmanship skill that is needed to onboard someone right away. Read the profile

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I have applied for positions posted by Fourth Floor that were tailor-made for me. No one ever replied after I submitted my resume. The last time, I called and asked to speak to the recruiter working on the position. The person who answered the phone could not have been more rude. She told me that if the recruiter was interested in me she would contact me. And hung up.
I was recently contacted via e-mail by a recruiter from JBC for a merchandising position. I explained that I was highly skilled in all of the job responsibilities, but I did not have experience in the specific category. She said that was fine, so we scheduled a call for the next day. We spoke for 20-25 minutes, then she told me that the company did require experience in the exact category. This was a complete waste of my time, plus I was incredibly disappointed because the position involved things I am very good at & I was very excited about the category. This experience also did not serve JBC well, as I now don’t trust them.