Keep your CV format simple so that the recruitment agency can upload it into their system easily. If suggestions are made around improving your CV then take the feedback on board and make the amendments.
Have a short summary of what skills you have that make you marketable, what achievements you have that make you stand out from your peer group and be very clear on what type of role you want.
You should also be flexible. A good recruiter will suggest roles that you hadn’t thought about and that could be ideal for you, while remaining in the parameters that you have originally stipulated.
Rapport with a recruitment agency is paramount and requires effort and input from both parties. Be honest at all times in terms of your background and your activity in the market when looking for a new role.
Keep them updated on your progress in the market but don’t be overly persistent in terms of frequency of contact. Good recruiters repay loyalty with loyalty and will put you forward for their best opportunities. Look on your agent as a career partner, not just an agent.
How you handle your career move is a key indicator of your organisational skills and your planning ability. It is absolutely critical that you keep control of your CV at all times. You must keep a record of which companies you have applied to directly or through an agency and when that application was made to ensure that no duplicate applications are made
Never let an agency send your CV to a company without them telling you who that company is or without signing a Non Disclosure Agreement first.
No matter how keen you are to move on in your career, try not to register with multiple agencies at once. Most big employers are currently putting jobs with more than one agency, as they feel that creating competition between agencies in the same sector will give them a better result. This creates the opportunity for you to be put forward for the same jobs by several recruiters if you are not controlling your CV. Employers will begin to wonder what’s wrong with you if they receive your details from multiple agencies and this reflects very badly on you as a candidate. This will at best make you look desperate and at worst that you are very badly organised or misleading multiple agencies.
Respond promptly to any communications and check your email as well as your phone. This can sometimes be tricky if you’re still employed elsewhere but let the agency know the best times to contact you and always be available then. Unfortunately the right career move can be like waiting for buses – nothing for ages and then two roles come along at once. It is then often a case of the client being under pressure to fill the vacancy quickly, meaning you need to be in a position to respond when needed.
Research thoroughly before any interviews, the company, the role and the type of person that they are looking for. Remember that you are not only representing you but the agency as well and that what you do and say is a direct reflection of both.
Call the recruiter after any interviews to give feedback on how you view the opportunity. Remember, the more specific the feedback then the easier it is for the agency to represent you and your interests.
Keep in contact if things change on your side and let the agency know straight away. For example, you have an offer or employment or you’ve decided to change your search parameters for example by moving house or area.
In summary, show that you value the service that your recruitment consultant is giving you and be a good ambassador for them whenever they introduce you to one of their clients. If recruitment agencies have doubts about how well you will perform in an interview, they will be reluctant to introduce you to their client
Remember that a recruiter needs to place the right people in the right roles to get paid, so it’s in their interests to overcome any objections the employer may have. For this reason, don’t try to disguise or cover up your situation if there are historical work issues that may cause problems with a new employer. Good recruitment consultants will have a number of years’ experience in the market and will know when things are not quite right or adding up properly. Your best hope is to be scrupulously honest, no matter how difficult, and let the agent handle things with the employer.
Most importantly, if there is anything else that you obviously should be telling the recruiter, don’t wait to be asked. Never leave the recruiter in the position of having to say: ‘I don’t know’ to their client.
It does take time to build up trust with a recruiter and it is a two way relationship. Pay attention to your instincts. If you feel that a recruitment agency is not putting you forward for enough vacancies, or is putting you forward for jobs that don’t seem to match your criteria, question them. Let them see that you are fully engaged and that you expect them to live up to your standard.
Good luck with your career move and if you would like to see how Graham James delivers against this advice then please contact us.