If you want help from a third party to increase your chances of finding a good job, through a recruiter or an agency, know this, it is rare that you will contact them and, voila, they just so happen to have the perfect job for you and your timing was impeccable and fortuitous. More likely, you will end up in their database and it is the info you provide to them that can accentuate your odds of success, now or later. But like many suggestions I provide, you have to apply a bit of effort in order to separate yourself from the crowd because, as I so-often say, if you look, sound and act like everyone else, why should they choose you over anyone else. It’s your choice -- be boring and un-remarkable and as a result go un-noticed -- or stand-out and stand-apart.
When I consider representing a person, or I speak with someone who would like to be kept in mind in the future, I suggest to them, “Okay then, help me to help you. If there was a list of companies - I don’t care if it is 1, 3 or 30 – that, if you heard they were looking for someone like you, you’d want to know about? I want that list. Think about it and get back to me” If they reply vaguely without any forethought or effort, “well, I’m open … any company that is looking” I don’t waste another moment of my time. And why should I? If I want to spend my time, which has value, playing the lottery I’ll buy a ticket, but why squander it on someone unwilling to invest their time on an effort that directly benefits them. However, if they’ll put a little effort into it and provide me with the information, I’ll get a little more proactive and, at the very least, add it to their file; now, I have something to work with. Perhaps it is one of my own foibles, but I don’t work for anyone but rather I work with people, collaboratively. Other recruiters and agency types are thinking similarly although they may not state it as loud as I do.
You should do the same for yourself, prior and without being asked, to save time; wouldn’t you agree you’d stand out amongst the many who simply send their resumes hither and yon under the illusion they’re actually doing something constructive on their own behalf?
Besides, if you’re contemplating a new job surely you’ve thought about what kind of role and company or companies with which you’d like to work. So you should be doing this anyway. The only difference is that you are providing something to compare, and so if or when they call, it is not so much a guessing game.