How to Choose and Use Your Recruitment Agency

There are various ways in which you can look for a job, including searching on job boards, looking through newspaper jobs pages, word of mouth, and using a recruitment agency, and maybe all of the above!  If you’re new to the process it can be quite daunting and difficult to know where to start.  

Using a recruitment agency can really help you in your job search.  They will be able to give you advice and guidance, as well as having the industry knowledge and contacts to make sure you’re placed in a role that suits your skillset and career aspirations.  There are many recruitment agencies to choose from, some much better than others, so choosing the most suitable ones can be tricky, and then how do you use them effectively?  I hope this blog will give you a bit of guidance!

Choosing an Agency

Firstly, you need to think about your needs.  What job are you looking for?  What industry do you want to go into?  Do you want to work in the UK or abroad?  You can get generalist and specialist agencies, so if you know exactly what you want to do, you want to be a PA for example, look for an agency that specialises in PA and administrative staff recruitment.  If you have no idea what route you want to go down, look for a generalist agency who will have a number of different roles that might be suitable.  Have a look on the agency job pages on their website to see the roles they have advertised to help you decide which might be most suitable.  You might have certain employers you want to work for; perhaps you could find out who does their recruiting and get in touch with them.  

Think about location too, do you want to work in London?  Do you want to find a job abroad?  Some agencies will recruit both across the UK and internationally, and some will just be local.  If you want to relocate to Dubai, for example, there’s no point in joining an agency which only recruits for London roles!

It’s always good to ask friends and colleagues if they have any recommendations too.  Often agencies have incentives for recommendations so it can work in your friends favour too!

How to use your agency effectively

First Impressions

We all know that first impressions count when you go to an interview, and the same should stand for recruitment agencies.  Agencies are the ones who are going to put you forward for jobs so you need to impress them and stick in their minds for the right reasons.  Clients rely on us to send them good quality, professional Candidates.  Make sure you turn up smartly dressed, are polite and have a good positive attitude.  Have some questions prepared for your initial registration as well.  This is your chance to tell them exactly what you’re looking for so they can put you forward for suitable roles.  Your Consultant is there to help you and make sure you make the right decisions in your career.  You almost need to think of your Consultant as an employer.    

CV

Recruitment agencies will be inundated with hundreds of CVs and applications every day.  You need to make sure your CV is polished and well formatted, so it stands out from the rest.  Try and format it properly so it looks neat and professional too.  It’s likely your Consultant will have to format it to send to a Client anyway, so the more you do for them, the less they have to!  If you have any queries about your CV then ask your Consultant for advice.  They are the ones who know what Clients want to see from their future employees.

Keep in touch

You’d be surprised by the number of Candidates who think that once they’re on our books, that’s that, a job will come flying there way without any effort from their side.  They are wrong.  It is up to you to pick up the phone and keep in touch with your Consultant.  Keep them up to date with your situation, your salary expectations, and if you have updated your CV make sure you send them a copy.  Recruitment agencies should have Candidate and Client care at the forefront of their minds. 

Work with your Consultant

Of course your Consultant is there to help you in your career search, but there has to be some effort from your side as well.  If they put you forward for an interview, make sure you read the interview brief and the job spec carefully, and research the company before you go in.  If you’re going to be late for an interview, then let them know, don’t turn up 30 minutes late, this does not leave a good impression of both you and the agency.  When you’ve been to the interview, call your Consultant and give them feedback so they can pass it on to the Client.  It’s so important to keep everyone in the loop.

Have an idea of what you’re looking for

You may not know exactly what role you want to go in to, but it helps your Consultant if you have some idea!  Tell them if you’re interested in temping or part-time, if you just want to work in a law firm or if you wouldn’t consider anything creative.  You need to be realistic as well.  If you haven’t got any Private PA experience, then it’s unlikely you’ll be considered for a highly paid Private PA role to a high net worth individual.  If this is something you’re interested in getting in to but don’t know how, talk to your Consultant about it and see what advice they have to offer.  Be realistic about salary as well.  If you’re coming from a role paying £25k it’s unlikely you’ll be put forward for a £40k role.  The more information about your search you give your Consultant, the better!

Categories: Job Seekers

Tags: Candidate, Career Advice, Job hunting, Recruitment

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