A master recruiter shares 40 years of job search wisdom with Susan Levine


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We’ve certainly been known to work some magic in people’s lives. Career direction, life fulfillment, relationship satisfaction, spiritual peace—we can get you there. But as magical and life-changing as coaching is, there’s a limit to our fairy godmother-esque powers!

When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of helping you find the perfect job (after we’ve helped you figure out what that job is), we’re more pumpkin than golden carriage.

But never fear! Because that’s why we’re so eager to talk to people like Susan Levine, a master recruiter with nearly forty years of experience helping people actually find (and get hired for) their ideal job—she picks up the magic wand at the place we put it down.

In this month’s interview, we asked Susan some of our most burning questions about finding and getting your dream job:

  • What are the reasonable (and unreasonable) expectations of what you can get out of a job?
  • What does an employer really want to see or hear from you?
  • What is working with a recruiter like? What’s the difference between a good and bad recruiter? And how do we get the most out of a recruiting experience?
  • What does a flawless résumé look like?
  • What makes someone a real-life good fit for a job, not just a good fit on paper?
  • How do we job search in an emotionally intelligent way?
  • How do we differentiate ourselves from alllllll the other great candidates out there?

Susan simplified a LOT of the process and busted through a ton of limiting beliefs that we’ve heard over and over again.

After you’ve listened, leave a comment to let us know what resonated most from this conversation and what you might start doing differently in your job search!


Susan Levine, Founder & President of Career Group Companies, is an expert in building relationships and creating meaningful professional connections. Susan founded Career Group, Inc. as the first high-end recruiting firm focused on executive and administrative support, and soon after followed with Syndicatebleu, a creative recruiting firm focused on design, marketing, and production. Following the success of these two businesses, Fourth Floor and Avenue Pacific were born, focused on fashion and C-level recruiting. Career Group Companies has since grown to serve the Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Greenwich, and Orange County markets.

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A former recruiter tells all (& helps you get hired) with Emily Liou (September 2018)


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4 Comments // ADD COMMENT


  • Megan

    I loved this episode! It is so helpful to hear a recruiter talk candidly about their role.

    I was wondering, how do you recommend finding a good recruiter? It seems like all the ones in my city are strictly working for a company’s request to fill a position, not necessarily from the point of view of working with the job seeker.

    Follow up– I work in the creative field as a graphic designer, which is super competitive. Most recruiters are filling creative roles that are temporary or short term contracts, not full time. The best opportunities for exciting clients seem to be with those that only want to hire someone for 1-3 months, but I just can’t stomach that. How do you recommend dealing with situations like this?


    • Kristen Walker

      Glad you loved this episode, Megan!

      These are great questions, and honestly I’m betting Susan’s team will be much more equipped to answer them than Rachel and I are. I would recommend reaching out to someone at Syndicatebleu (one of Susan’s recruiting brands that focuses on creative roles) and asking those questions. If they’re not able to help you find a recruiter within their organization, I bet they’d be able to steer you toward a recruiting agency that’s better aligned with your needs.

      I would also be clear with whatever recruiter you talk to that you’re looking for more longer-term roles, not the 1-3 month contract opportunities. While that may be common in the design world, I’m certain there are great companies who want talented graphic designers for full-time roles, so a great recruiter will understand that that’s important to you and will help you find the right opportunities.

      Thanks for asking such great questions!

  • Alyx

    I really liked this episode and Susan’s overall vibe – tough and firm, but caring. I understood exactly what she meant about being humble, yet hungry.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m outside of being a Millennial because I grew up being told to work hard and keep your head down, but at the same time, people 6-7 years younger than me are very hungry and eager to move up faster.

    It definitely about finding that happy medium, but for those of us keeping our heads down, we forget to look up and when we do, there are people who are moving ahead of us with less time and experience.

    • Kristen Walker

      “Humble, yet hungry” — yes, that’s exactly it! It’s hard to walk that line sometimes, and you’ll definitely see plenty of people (Millennial or otherwise) who are leaning too far in one direction or the other (too humble and not asking for more opportunities for growth, or too hungry and not being willing to put in the work along the way).

      I’m sure it’s frustrating to see people moving past you who haven’t put in the time and experience, but keep in mind that you’ll be far more prepared (and ultimately more successful) when you get to that same level because you were willing to do the work along the way. The tortoise always beats the hare in the end! 🙂