The Essential Guide to Using a Recruitment Agency

Looking for a new job can seem like daunting task. One effective method is to use a recruitment agency to help you. Recruitment agencies often have a great range of permanent and temporary jobs covering all industry sectors. They often have a selection of unadvertised jobs, as many employers will use an agency to do the work rather than advertise the vacancy themselves. If you do your homework carefully it can be quite a painless and mutually beneficial approach.

The first thing you should consider, well before contacting a recruitment agency, is your CV.

It is always good practice to have your CV up to date and available. If you don’t yet have a CV you should write one as soon as possible. Do not expect the recruitment agency to write a CV for you. Check that it is well laid out and easy for the recruiter to read. CV writing can be difficult so consider using an online service or CV builder. These can prove to be a low cost and easy method of writing a CV in the style recruiters like to see.

Once you have your CV then the task of contacting the agencies should begin.

Which agencies should I choose? – There are quite a large number of recruitment agencies out there, all offering a range of services. You should be selective. Draw up a list of questions in advance that you can ask the consultant right at the start. You need to make sure that;

They understand your industry.

They understand your current job.

They understand what you are looking for.

They have good contacts within your industry.

They will be proactive in finding you a job

They can advise you on what salary and benefits to expect

Overall, make sure that you feel comfortable with the agency you have chosen, as they will be dealing with your personal details.

Will they charge me? – It is illegal for an agency to charge you for finding a position. The employer for whom they are recruiting pays the costs. The agency can however charge for additional services.

How many agencies should I use? – It really is up to you but for best results it is often better to register with a few specialist agencies. If you use a large number of agencies you may find that they all send your CV to the same employers.

What is their CV policy? – Make sure that the agency is going to work for you and not just send your CV to employers without understanding your requirements. Most reputable agencies will have a definite policy on this. Make sure they understand that YOU decide which employers should receive your CV.

Any Candidate testimonials? – This is to ensure that you have chosen the right agency. Ask for evidence of satisfied candidates and clients in the industry. This will also give you an idea of how experienced the agency and their consultants are in your chosen field.

Are there any trade bodies? – A number of agencies are members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) that represents the recruitment industry within the UK. You should confirm that the agency is a member and conforms to the REC code of conduct.

Finally, recruitment agencies are in business to make a profit by placing candidates. You need to make it easy for them to sell you. You should remain in control and avoid being talked into taking unsuitable jobs. It is always a good idea to build a relationship and keep regular contact with an agency.

E & O E – Copyright 2006 CV Writing