You might think that recruitment agencies are only suitable for people in a more advanced stage of their career, but in reality, they can help you find anything from a part time summer job to a temp role to full time permanent position. When looking for a job, we all know that a kick-ass cover letter and an impressive resume are important. Don’t forget another secret weapon though – a good recruitment agency. Here are our top 5 tips for working with agencies.
Research different agencies
Some agencies cover a bit of everything, while many others specialise in certain industries. There are agencies that specifically cover the health industry, or temp jobs, hospitality work or community services. Do some research to work out the best ones to reach out too. You don’t need to limit yourself to just the one agency. If you find one specialising in the area you’re interested in, contact them and some others that cover multiple industries. If you are after a niche role, make sure you communicate that to the agency. If they don’t specialise in those roles they’ll have a harder time helping you. It might take a while to find the right agency for you, so just keep trying until you find the best one!
Take charge of your own career
The fact is, the recruitment industry is hugely sales and KPI driven. Agencies are given roles by their clients and they are expected to find the best people to fulfil their client’s expectations. They’re under a lot of pressure to perform. So don’t leave it all up to them. You will be able to find consultants willing to give you personalised assistance and advice, but ultimately, it will be up to you to prove to them that you are the person they are looking for. Just sending off applications might not be enough. Take charge of the situation to give yourself the greatest amount of exposure. Don’t wait for them to call you, chase them (in an appropriate manner)!
Once you’ve done your research, focus on 3 or 4 agencies that work within your chosen field. When you make contact, introduce yourself to the consultant, be clear about what you are looking for and ask for their advice. Make sure you have a polished, up to date resume to send them straightaway. Come up with an elevator pitch so you can explain what you have to offer in 30 seconds. Check with them how frequently they would like to hear from you regarding any updates. Try and make it a habit to have quick catch ups, but make sure you do not become a pest! The last thing they want is to be annoyed! They’re busy people who only have time to speak to you if there’s a valid reason. Focus on building rapport without becoming a pain.
Utilise the knowledge of experts
If you’re working with an agency that specialises in a certain industry, you should be allocated a recruiter who has in depth knowledge of that industry. They should know plenty about the job market, the main hiring organisations etc. This means they are a goldmine of information. Ask the right questions to help you on your job search. Find out what particular employers are looking for, whether your qualifications and experience are up to scratch and where the jobs are that best fit your profile.
Broaden your exposure
For the best chances of landing a job, register with a number of agencies. Use keywords in your resume as this gives you a higher ranking when the recruiters search for possible candidates. It sounds obvious but don’t rely on recruiters alone. Keep an eye on job search websites and try contacting companies directly. When you contact each recruitment agency, have your elevator pitch and your CV ready to go. Recruitment is a numbers game. Embrace this and don’t let it get you down. Make yourself more appealing to recruiters by being clear and succinct in your introduction, what you are looking for and what you have to offer. Make it easy for them to reach you by ensuring all of your up to date contact info is on everything you send them. Ask for advice and feedback where appropriate.