Why should I use a recruitment agency?
You might be asking yourself this question if you are a recent university graduate or a young job seeker looking to improve your job prospects.
Let's look at why a recruitment agency should be a key part of your network of contacts.
First, I'll explain how the process works. Then I'll look at the importance of working with the right recruitment agency consultant. Third, I'll explain how to view a recruitment agency as an important link between you and your next job. Finally, we'll look at some of your job seeker rights.
Understand the Recruitment Agency Game
According to Lynn Williams writing in Ultimate Job Search, a recruitment agency can be a key resource in helping you find the right job. They know the job market well, know where the jobs are, and know whom to contact. However, you have to realize that it is a high-pressure situation for recruitment agency consultants.
In Job Hunting 3.0, Richard Maun comments that consultants have quotas to meet and their time is precious. So they may treat you as a number, but you shouldn't take it personally. He recommends asking yourself this question: "How can I help you to help me?"
Don't be insulted if the consultant only has only five minutes to talk to you on the phone or only 10 minutes to give you in a face-to-face interview.
Work with the Right Recruitment Agency Consultant
In Just the Job, John Lees states that it's essential to find the right recruitment agency. He writes: "Effective job hunters usually end up making well-crafted approaches to about 20 properly matched consultancies, and have a good working relationship at any one time with about half a dozen recruiters."
Lynn Williams, on the other hand, recommends being selective in your choice of recruitment agencies. Try to work with those agencies that specialize in your field. She favors working with two or three agencies with whom you feel most comfortable.
Treat the Recruitment Agency as an Employer
A recruitment agency could be an important link between you and a potential employer. So get to know well the consultant at the agency assigned to you. When dealing with a consultant, be polite, punctual, and professional at all times.
Above all, be honest about who you are and what you've done professionally. Don't be afraid to share confidential information. For example, if you left a previous position on bad terms, let the consultant know.
Ask the Recruitment Agency Questions
Richard Maun recommends asking questions--which I have adapted--that will help you get the best out of your relationship.
- What format would you recommend for my CV?
- What are some of the things I can do to best to help you?
- What is the best way we can communicate - email, phone, text message?
- What is normally the best day and time for me to contact you? How often should we keep in touch?
- Do my skills and experience seem valuable to you and your clients?
- What would you recommend I do to improve my profile for your clients?
Know Your Job Seeker Rights
In a recent article on job seeker rights, I listed 11 rights you have in working with a recruitment agency, such as knowing who receives your CV and how you compare with other candidates. Check out the interesting infographic that accompanies the article.
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