When we enter the job-seeking market, our first port of call is usually a recruitment agency. It may be tempting to let the recruiters do the donkey work for us and sit back and wait. However, utilising a recruitment agency to our best potential will have more impact on what is offered by way of a job. Recruiters will always want to protect their business and offer what their clients want, but, they need us to fill the positions so they can get paid for their services.
Be Your Own Best Advocate
We are responsible for how we market ourselves, not the agency. The agency will promote what we promote to them. They will advise on CV writing techniques, give plenty of job leads, however, it is up to us how they will promote what we have to offer a potential employer. Using a recruitment agent is not the middleman, treat the agency as if they were employing directly. We want the agent to find us the best role, we want them to place us and we want them to use us.
Widen the Net & Register with Various Agencies
We don’t have to place all our eggs in one basket. Registering with different agencies will spread our details far and wide. While there are many smaller agencies who offer a more bespoke and localised service, national agencies are suitable for a wider recruiting audience. Other benefits of this, are we can tailor-make our CVs and covering letter exactly the same which reduces the chance of cross-recruiting and companies seeing the same name with different details if registering with various agencies in our sector. Now, this doesn’t mean we are telling fibs on our details, but it is no secret that people have a tendency to embellish the truth on job application forms. There is little worse than a potential employer faced with the same name but two completely different CVs.
Agencies Which Offer Jobs in your Niche
If we are in a profession then registering with agencies which deal particularly with our sector will be a more suitable option. There is little point in a medical secretary registering with an accountancy specialised agency. Utilising an agency which specialises in the sector we are looking to work in is essential for securing the position we want. All sector agencies are all well and good, but the chances are we will be up against a much bigger crowd.
Keep It Simple
We want the agency to promote us well. Don’t make the mistake of over-loading them with information that is completely irrelevant. Utilise the agency for employment techniques, not golf skills or how we can run up a pair of curtains in an hour. In this age of ‘tell all’ with social media networks and varying advice on how to ‘get the perfect job’ recruiters will be interested in our work skills, not our recreational skills. We are not looking for new friends, we are hoping to seek a fabulous job. Always be professional and alert, we don’t have to be shy, but we don’t have to shoot ourselves in the foot either and end up in the bottom of an in-tray.
Work as a Team
When looking for a job, we need to be pro-active and help the agent to find us employment. Jobs are hard to find in this climate and we need to respond to calls, emails and letters in a professional manner. Remember, agents are busy people trying to run a business and we have to be pro-active in helping them and we are in essence, representing the agency to their clients. We never know when we might need the agency again, so we need to mind our Ps and Qs.
One Last Piece of Advice
Recruitment agencies are a fantastic way of finding new employment on both a temporary and also a permanent basis. It can be especially useful to use an agency that specialises in your niche area of recruitment.
When I was in further education I used to use recruitment agencies when looking for temporary childcare work during the summer break. I always preferred the temporary work offered through the childcare recruitment agency I used rather than the more general agencies I was also registered with.
Ros Davies writing for Lebreton Recruitment the leading staffing agency for childcare recruitment is the UK.