The Essential Guide to Using a Recruitment Agency

Searching for a new job can seem like a daunting task. An effective method is to use a recruitment agency to help you. Recruitment agencies often have a wide variety of permanent and temporary jobs covering all sectors of the industry. They often have a selection of unadvertised jobs, as many employers will use an agency to do the work instead of advertising the opening themselves. If you do your homework carefully, it can be a fairly painless and mutually beneficial approach.

The first thing you should take into account, long before contacting a recruitment agency, is your CV.
It is always a good practice to have your CV updated and available. If you don’t have a CV yet, you should write one as soon as possible. Don’t expect the recruitment agency to write you a CV. Check that it is well designed and easy for the recruiter to read. Resume writing can be difficult, so consider using an online service or resume builder. These can prove to be an easy and inexpensive method of writing a CV in the style that recruiters like to see.

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

Which agencies should I choose? – There are a large number of recruitment agencies, all offering a range of services. You should be selective. Make a list of questions ahead of time that you can ask the consultant early on. You need to make sure of that;

They understand their industry.
They understand their current job.
They understand what you are looking for.
They have good contacts within their industry.
They will be proactive in finding you a job.
They can advise you on the salary and benefits you can expect

In general, make sure you feel comfortable with the agency you have chosen, as they will be handling your personal data.

Will they charge me? – It is illegal for an agency to charge you to find a position. The employer they are recruiting for pays the costs. However, the agency may charge for additional services.

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

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

Any testimonials from the candidates? – This is to ensure that you have chosen the correct agency. Ask for evidence of candidates and satisfied clients in the industry. This will also give you an idea of ​​the experience of the agency and its consultants in the chosen field.

Are there trade bodies? – Several agencies are members of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation) which represents the UK recruitment industry. You must confirm that the agency is a member and complies with the REC code of conduct.

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

E & OE – Copyright 2006 CV Writing

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