Hi Nicola, a friend of mine who has been living and working outside the UK for some time has decided to move back to the UK with his new wife and has asked me which project management recruitment agencies are best for him to sign up to. He has a background in delivering software implementations on a contract basis and is keen to pick up where he left off. - Chris, Manchester.
Hi Chris, many thanks for your question. A starting point for your friend would be my blog on project management job boards as this lists some of the forerunners in the field both recruitment agency wise and good PM related job boards. However I also would like to point out that your friend will need to make sure he has his CV up to date and is in-line with current requirements of the employer as he has been away for a while. Being a contractor one of the first things I would suggest is to make sure the CV talks through his assignments and pays particular attention to why he was brought in and the state of the project on arrival (including how he picked it up and led it to success). Contractors are generally paid a premium day rate to “hit the ground running” and as such demonstrable experience of this is what hiring managers are looking for in a CV.
Next I would suggest your friend creates a LinkedIn account (if he hasn’t already got one) and brings it up to date, ensuring it is searchable by everyone – this will open up opportunities for employers proactively searching for fresh talent. He should also make sure he has some recommendations from previous clients and managers so he has some good references to back up his work.
Job hunting also requires some further input from your friend such as posting his CV on the job boards – personally I would recommend some of the larger general job websites and also the specialist job websites such as the ones mentioned in my article. It is important to keep refreshing the CV on these websites as the longer they are in the databases the further down the searches they go. From a recruiter perspective I have found that when searching for CVs through such databases that I am offered a date selection – I would automatically assume that those over a month old have now secured a new position so they would be discounted from the search.
It is also good practice to keep abreast of organisations local to you to understand any changes and jobs which may pop up on their websites – your friend can set up google alerts on companies so he is emailed when something new is published online about them. Any changes such as new service offerings / mergers / product launches etc are a fantastic opportunity for your friend to make a speculative approach to the business and really sell himself to how he could add value. The speculative letter needs to be really tailored to the organisation and its changes and highlight examples of when he delivered similar changes.