Recruitment agents have the experience to really help you in your job hunt, but they’re not just going to hand it to you on a plate. Make sure you’re making the most out of their expertise with our top tips.
Always be professional
Treat your dealings with recruitment agents like the first step in the interview process. If you meet (which you should if you get the opportunity), dress smartly and come prepared. It’s almost as important to make the right impression with the agent as it is at interview. Even if they’ve already agreed to put you forward, they’ll have their favourite candidates and they might communicate this to the employer.
Know what you want
Recruitment agents are paid by the recruiters and their primary objective is to find the right candidates, not to be your career advisor. You will get a lot more from an agent if you are specific about what roles you are looking for and what areas you want to work in. Not only does this make their job easier, it also demonstrates your commitment and so increases the chance that they’ll put you forward for a particular job. For more on the benefits of knowing what you want read our guest blog – Why Being Selective is the Way to Get Ahead in the Job Market.
Listen to advice
The agents want you to get the job so really listen to any advice they might give you – they are the experts. If they aren’t forthcoming with advice then ask them; what did they think of your application form? Do they think there are any improvements that could be made to your CV? Plenty of agents will be willing to give you interview advice as well.
Ask the right questions
Companies will often find a recruitment agent they like and use the same one to fill all applicable positions, which means they know a lot more about the company than you could ever find from just researching online. If you’re going for a graduate position that runs every year, the agent might have been placing graduates in the same position for years. Try and tap into this knowledge by asking the right questions. What’s the company culture like? Do they know the person who will be interviewing you, are they laid back or traditional? What kind of candidates got the job last year? The more you know the better prepared you’ll be.
Ask for feedback
If you interview/apply for a position through the agent and don’t get the job, try and find out why the agent thinks you didn’t get it. Was the competition very stiff? What feedback did the company give to the agent? This is such important information so be a little pushy!
Stay in touch
Even if you didn’t get the original job there will be others. Recruitment agents receive hundreds of new CVs all the time so make sure they don’t forget about you. Email and thank them after the process, send them emails periodically letting them know you’re still looking for work and ask them about any current positions. Agencies don’t always list all their vacancies so you might find positions not available anywhere else. Try and create a relationship with your agent, they can be a great ally in your job hunt.