Have you considered working with a recruiter? Here are some things you should know to help you understand the philosophy of this job search option.
Two types of recruiters are retained and contingency. Retained recruiters tend to recruit executives and get paid 33 1/3 commission based upon your salary. Contingency recruiters tend to place people who make $150k and less. Their commission is usually based upon the base salary of the candidate.
Recruiters are sales people and get paid a lot of money by their clients to find the right candidates. Don't be frustrated if you don't receive a phone call back from the recruiter. They tend to spend their time finding the candidate with the exact credentials that their client is looking for. They also tend to only take calls from people referred by a reliable source.
If you can show the recruiter how you can add value you might be able to develop a relationship with them. It's most beneficial to develop a relationship with a recruiter when you have a job.
If you speak with a recruiter and they either don't conduct searches for your particular job or industry they might be interested in learning more about your contacts. They also might be interested in Linking In with you. This is a personal decision that you need to make. Make sure that it is a win-win situation for both you and the recruiter.
Another thing to remember is that recruiters are just people like you and me. They might come from an executive background in the industry that they are recruiting for usually in their 30s and 40s or they might come from a sales background with a large network but little hands on experience in the industry in which they are recruiting.
There is usually no specific training for recruiters and the key to a successful relationship with them is to be genuine, confident and to have your 45 second pitch memorized. Some might be able to speak in detail about what you do and others might be more general because they are less familiar with your industry.
If you get to the point of sending a recruiter your resume and later speaking with them, the conversation with likely be brief and they will take approximately 30 seconds to review your resume to see if they have an open position.
Lastly, make sure that there is the right personality fit between you and the recruiter. You are not just a number and deserve to be treated with respect.