Can someone be a great recruiter

Should I look for an opportunity through personal contacts or a recruiter?

You need to make a lightning-fast decision the first time you speak to the recruiter. When the conversation starts, "Hi, you don't know me, but I want to recommend you for a great ABC position that just emerged at DEF" you need to make an immediate decision on whether or not to keep the recruiter informed. You have a chance to say, "Ah, sorry, I have a number of contacts at DEF myself, so you don't have to introduce me there." Or "Sure, sounds great, and some of these people know me, so I would love to consider a lot for a position there". If you take this second route, or if you say you're interested before you hear where it is, stick with the recruiter. Ask him for his opinion, speak directly to your contacts, and then take his advice.

Why? If you've been interviewed at many large companies and then find out that the recruiter spoke to you at some point, they may feel "on the hook" for the recruiter fee or be vulnerable to recruiter claims when they hire you. In general, the way they deal with it isn't about hiring you. I've seen it. So it's about more than, "The recruiter might be mad that they didn't get a commission from my hiring." If you tell a recruiter who represents you that you have contacts of your own, they will usually be happy to advise you on how to best use this. If you don't trust a recruiter and you don't feel well represented, don't let that recruiter represent you. But understanding your decision to do so may eliminate certain positions for you.

Mark Booth

Excellent advice, but I'd also recommend avoiding hiring a recruiter on that first call if possible. If they give the game away (tell you the company name too soon) you can easily say, "I've seen this job before and am reviewing it". If not going through this recruiter doesn't work, you can always call them back and say, "I'm not happy with my current approach. Would you like to represent me?"