John Lees hands out some valuable job advice (http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/897726-john-lees-how-to-get-the-best-out-of-recruitment-agencies)
Jodi is learning fast about what agencies do. They are not a free advisory service. Recruitment consultants are professional selectors who make a living finding workers to fill vacancies for their clients.
‘I’ve been to a couple of agencies but they don’t get me at all,’ Jodi tells me.
‘Each one told me to write my CV differently. But I’ve registered, so I’ve done my bit.’
A recruitment consultant will not make the final selection decision but is a gatekeeper between you and the decision-maker. Poor agencies simply distribute unsolicited CVs, over promise and under deliver.
Good ones have a feel for the market and, in dealing with specialist sectors, can provide priceless information.
You are dealing with an intermediary, someone who is both broker and barrier. If a recruitment consultant is talking to you, it is because they believe you are fit for a role they hope to fill. Their primary strength is their ability to open doors by persuading employers to commit to interview dates and issue job offers.
Agencies initially filter candidates based on their CVs, so make clear your transferable skills and breadth of experience. They are usually highly tuned to the first impression you create and your interview behaviour. More than ever, they want to put forward a safe bet.
Today’s market allows external recruiters to believe they can find someone whose experience is an exact match for the job, which makes things harder for those changing sectors.
Some agencies will offer to ‘market’ you, others will say you are securely ‘on the register’. This means very little in itself – it’s your relationship with them that counts. Recruiters are sales-oriented people specialists at heart, so do everything you can to convince them that you will be an enthusiastic candidate.
Ask for advice on interview technique, what to wear and interview questions to prepare for, and listen carefully to the way a consultant describes what an employer is seeking. You will hear conflicting agency advice about CV formats (some insist on two pages maximum and many don’t like an opening profile, wanting just the bare job history). Don’t ask for an opinion on your CV, get a summary – ask ‘what does my CV say to you?’ If you hear a clear, recognisable story coming back, your CV works.
Help your consultant to help you. If you don’t want a job like the one you just left, explain what you are looking for. Treat each agency interview as a genuine selection experience. Be flexible in terms of availability and open to suggestions but, if the agency offers you something unsuitable, reiterate what’s in your sights.
Don’t let your doubts about recruitment consultancies or agencies influence your decision to work with them. Agencies need a flow of enthusiastic, committed candidates. Just as you will show an employer how your presence in the workplace will solve problems, be a problem-solver to any intermediaries.
John Lees is author of How To Get A Job You’ll Love (McGraw-Hill) and runs regular career workshops. Visit johnleescareers.com for details.
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/lifestyle/897726-john-lees-how-to-get-the-best-out-of-recruitment-agencies#ixzz1uGNgegVC