Many of us will use a job agency at some point in our lives, some because they’ve seen a job vacancy advertised and applied to the agency to go for it, others perhaps because they have a particular skillset that requires a specialist agency to cater for it. What most do not know is that following a few simple rules for agency selection will substantially improve their chances of landing their ideal job (an ideal job being one which suits their needs for that particular moment).
Getting to know your consultant
Whether the agency is large or small, the most important thing about it is the recruitment consultant you are dealing with and how you present yourself to them. After all, they will be sourcing jobs on your behalf, and assessing suitability is a two-way street. You must take pains to sell yourself to them because until you land that interview, they will be making enquiries and sending out your CV on your behalf and that’s when they will be selling you – so you need to make sure that when you meet them you cast off stand-offishness and leave the ‘take it or leave it’ attitude at the door.
You also need to make sure that your recruitment consultant is thoroughly well-versed in your field. If you work as a PA, your consultant should ideally be well-acquainted with the subject and deal only with placing candidates in PA jobs. This means that they will have a much better understanding of exactly what it is that you do, and will be able to do a much better job of presenting you in the most accurate light.
Another point to bear in mind is that within agencies a particular consultant will usually source jobs for a particular client company, and their colleagues will not trespass into their ‘territory’ – so if your consultant would regard placing you with a company represented by a different colleague as going ‘off-piste’, you should be prepared to try a different agency if that is the job your heart is set on.
Finally, you need to make sure that you select a company that fits your abilities to a suitable role, and not an agency which adopts a scattergun approach of sending your CV off to companies willy-nilly. This is very important. If you decide to use another agency in the future, that agency will not send in your CV to companies that have received it from another agency – thus exempting you from the selection process and the job you really want.