In previous blog posts I have talked about being proactive with job applications direct to employers as often you can cut out the middle man and harvest greater results from your applications if you put the work in and tailor your applications. However recruitment agencies can also yield results if you use the right agencies and display the right kind of behaviours.
Project Management recruitment agencies can be very useful to you in your search for a new job – so it is important to make sure you work with them to get them working for you.
I know through years of working in specialist PM recruitment that some clients do not advertise their roles other than through a handful of agencies, others will advertise and use every agency available. However the ones who have struck up a good relationship with their clients and have repeat business built up over the years can be a real asset to candidates serious about getting a new role. These types of recruitment agencies tend to work hard at client retention and as such will be keen to make sure that every candidate they submit to their client is a very close match to the client’s needs. Common sense you say, well yes but a great deal of recruiters out there work on volume and have a necessity to submit as many candidates as possible in the hope of hitting the nail on the head so to speak. The specialist recruiters are different in that volume isn’t necessarily the right route.
Working with specialist agencies by making contact and actually speaking with the recruiters is very important, if you can arrange a discussion to talk through your experience and your aspirations to really gain some buy-in from them could be the difference between being called as soon as a new role which meets your needs and skill-set and being left in the database of thousands of candidates. Listen to what the recruiters are saying to you – ask for feedback on your CV and applications, learn to understand their perspective and you will soon be placed in their favourite’s folder awaiting new roles as they hit the recruiters’ desk.
Don’t be afraid to call when you see new roles advertised, talk through expectations of their clients and ask if you need to make any tweaks to your CV. Once you have submitted your application you should look to track its progress – do not hound the recruiter, strike a balance of keeping in touch and if necessary, agree a communications plan.
All good project management professionals follow up actions and by demonstrating your keenness and being professional in your approach you will soon be remembered for all the right reasons. At a time when agencies have reduced portfolios of work and large databases of candidates you need to make sure you stand out above the rest.