If you haven’t worked with a Recruitment Agency before then the chances are you can find it difficult to know how we can help! The first thing to consider is that we are professionals – we match people and jobs together every day and we’ve been doing it for 30 years (check out what’s changed over the years here). However, you also need to get yourself prepared before you approach an agency and be ready to fully commit to the process. Remember that for you, the candidate, this is a free service so it’s in your interest to be prepared!
For our top tips on approaching your next recruitment agency and moving towards your next top role then read on:
1. Do your research!
Although it’s easy to assume that all recruitment agencies operate in the same way this is just not the case. Just as there are many different industries you can work in, agencies range from small boutique agencies, to large national and international corporations who specialise in different fields. Make sure you research an agency and check that they can help with the type of role you are looking for; if you are a qualified barrister register with a top legal agency not an IT specialist!
Top tip: If you are looking for any kind of immediate work then it’s probably best to contact a large High Street agency, they will almost definitely have a list of temporary vacancies that are available immediately but for more niche roles try a smaller agency.
2. Know what you want and have your CV ready
Our most successful placements are candidates who know what they want, which job role they are looking at and know how to present their details in the most successful way. Unfortunately, Recruitment Agencies aren’t qualified career coaches and we generally don’t provide career guidance – we can only help candidates match their skills and experience to roles that we have available so knowing what you want is key!
If you are looking at a specific job role or industry make sure you tailor your details to prove your suitability. Recruiters and HR Managers scan so many CVs on a daily basis that unless you make it crystal clear that you have the right skills and experience for the role then your CV could get lost in a pile.
Top tip: There’s nothing wrong with a creative CV but make sure you have your CV in Word format for your recruiter in case they need to edit your CV to present to clients.
3. Keep on top of your communication!
The worst thing about mobile phones nowadays is that it’s really easy to ignore a call if you don’t recognise a phone number – don’t do that if you’ve been applying for jobs! Sometimes a couple of hours can be the difference between getting put forward for a job or not and some roles can be so popular that we close the application process after a few hours and no longer accept new candidates. If you don’t get back to us after applying for a role then we can’t put you forward to the employer!
Also keep track of your email correspondence and if you’ve agreed to being put forward to a company we will confirm your interview in writing as well as chatting to you so check your emails. Miss that interview with a client and a recruitment agency is unlikely to want to work with you further.
Top tip: Keep track of the roles and recruitment agency you have applied to in a simple spreadsheet and save their numbers in your phone.
4. Be open and honest about your job search
The easiest way to get the best out of your recruitment agency is to form a great working relationship with us and get us on your side – we’ll want to help you find your dream job! Make sure you are honest about what you are looking for –salary, role, location and hours because it will help us tailor what we let you know about. The worst thing you can do is call up and ask about a job and spend an hour on the phone with a recruiter and then tell them you want the job to be part-time. As recruiters we can’t change a role to suit you, that is our client’s prerogative and we can only help provide a good match for the job as it is.
If you have found your perfect role in the meantime or your circumstances have changed at all make sure you let your agency know so they can either congratulate you (yay new job!) or change the roles they let you know about.
Top tip: When approaching an agency make sure you let them know what basic salary you are looking for, which location you can realistically get to and the sort of role you are looking for.