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Career Advice

How to Handle Recruitment Agencies

recruitmentWhether you love them or hate them, recruitment agencies still have a major role to play in the employment market and therefore if you are actively jobseeking, they shouldn’t be disregarded. Understanding what they are about, their real purpose and how they can help you is essential. These basic tips on how to handle recruitment agencies should hopefully help.

Choose the right agencies

There are all sorts of recruitment agencies – some focus on geographic areas, others on particular market sectors or disciplines. Spending some time to assess what agencies are in your area or chosen field is key. Don’t waste your time registering with a recruitment agency that does not either cover your geographic location or the type of role you are looking for. Sending your CV to an agency like this is ultimately a waste of both your time and theirs. Focus on the agencies who can actually help you.

Be selective with your applications

Whilst you may unfortunately be absolutely desperate for a job, if you apply for every job that a recruiter is advertising for, it will not do you any favours. It is highly unlikely that you would meet the criteria for every role that they have so don’t waste precious time applying for roles just for the sake of it. If you don’t meet the criteria, you won’t be considered – it’s as simple as that. Choose the jobs that you apply for wisely – ensure that you meet the key requirements and you stand a much greater chance of being shortlisted for the job. If you simply apply with no real regard for the job criteria, no recruiter will view you as a truly credible candidate.

Make an appointment

Most reputable recruitment agencies should do this anyway so that you are a fully registered candidate. If they don’t, it may be that upon viewing your CV, they do not see you as a marketable candidate nor a candidate that they could truly help. Ask for an appointment so that you can meet the recruiter, speak about your career objectives and aims and also discuss in more detail your key skills and abilities. A face to face meeting with a recruiter will enable you to do this much better than a phone call. If your request for an appointment is dismissed, it may be that they realise that they would not be able to help you at this particular time or that they have sufficient other candidates with similar skills and experience on their books at this point.

Build a rapport

Ultimately you want to build a relationship and a sense of rapport with your recruitment consultant. Meeting them face to face is the first step in doing this and will certainly help when they begin to market you to prospective employers. The key thing to remember is that the recruiter will be marketing lots of candidates to employers – not just you. They will be meeting or hearing from new candidates every day. Make sure that you stay in touch with them so that you remain fresh in their mind. Keep them updated with your job search activities and what has been happening. Remaining on the recruitment agency’s radar is an absolute must.

Mind your manners

Recruitment agencies generally get some bad press and often it is well deserved. However that does not mean that you should treat your chosen agency with disdain. When dealing with an agency, always be polite, courteous and professional. If you are rude or abrupt to the receptionist who answers your call, chances are she will tell the consultant and that will do you no favours in the long run. After all, manners count and if you convey a negative and rude attitude when dealing with agency staff, they will certainly not have any desire or innate wish to help you.

We hope that by highlighting these basic tips on how to handle recruitment agencies we have helped any of you who are planning to use them to assist in your job search.


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