In a job market where a vast majority of job openings are never advertised or publicly announced, signing on with a recruitment agency is a good way to have access to some of the best job opportunities on the market.
Developing a close relationship with your recruitment consultant can be the difference between landing your dream role and not even being aware that it exists. How can you make sure you and your consultant are on the same line?
Go to the initial meeting prepared – treat it as an interview
Most recruitment consultancies will want to meet you in person before formally putting your CV forward to a hiring manager. The initial meeting will generally involve a discussion about your reasons for leaving your current/past employer, the type of role(s) you are interested in, profile and examples of companies you would like to work for and a discussion around the positions the consultant feels might be appropriate for you. It is very worthwhile scanning the recruiter’s website before the meeting to ascertain which jobs you may be interested in.
It is important during this initial meeting to come across as professional and employable. Bear in mind that a consultant’s reputation with their client (the recruiting company) is at stake when they put a candidate forward for a job, so he or she will want to make sure that you will perform well when you meet the recruiting client in person.
Be clear about what job you want
Job seekers who approach recruitment consultancies are obviously looking for a career change. But for many, this is all they are sure about. While it’s good to be open to new opportunities, it’s best to do some research ahead of time and have a good think about your next career move. It will allow both your consultant and yourself not to loose time over roles which you have no real interest for in the end. Recruitment consultants are there to help guide you towards your next job, but they do need your help and direction to help you get there.
Keep in touch
Repeatedly contacting your consultant to ask if there has been any changes or new job opportunities is unlikely to be successful, but maintaining contact with an occasional phone call or email is important. Agencies also often host networking evenings – if you’re invited to one of these types of events, try your best to attend as it not only keeps you at the front of your consultant’s mind, but it also allows you to find out about the latest market trends and any jobs that are available.
If you know about any open opportunity, from a company’s website or from your own networking, let your consultant know as he or she can facilitate your access to this opportunity.
Take advantage of a recruiter's knowledge
Make sure you tap into your recruitment consultant’s knowledge as much as you can. They are industry specialists and work closely with employers, so will be able to tell you about the latest jobs available and the types of skills employers are looking for. Before going on an interview, ask your consultant about the interviewer, the company and kind of interview you should expect.
Ask for feedback
Take on board your consultant’s feedback, not only about the processes you are applying for, but about your attitude during interviews such as your motivation, energy, speech etc.
Asking for your consultant’s feedback can help you to improve how you present yourself in the future. Recruiters review and assess CVs on a daily basis and know what employers look for, so if you take their suggestions into account you can make your résumé as strong as possible. Following a job interview, make sure to ask your consultant questions to ensure you get valuable feedback about your performance.
Give something back
If you know of anybody in your network that is looking for a new career challenger, refer him/her to your consultant. Whether it’s a colleague, a boss or an employee, your consultant will appreciate the fact that you are satisfied in his/her services and can recommend others to seek their help as well.
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