Recruitment agencies can be a mixed bag. However, the best ones will help you find a job that’s a great match for your skill set and career ambitions. Beyond that, you can expect career development and enhanced salary expectations too.
Yikes. The job search can be long, lonely and more than a little dispiriting. You’re tired of tweaking your CV for companies who never get back to you. You’re not even sure what the next best move is for your career.
That’s where recruitment agencies come in. Sure, some just treat you as another CV. But the best recruitment agencies take the time to listen to your career ambitions, provide consultancy and match you to job vacancies that you will actually find rewarding. And that’s just the start.
Here are nine ways recruitment agencies can aid your job search.
1. Boost your exposure
Searching out vacancies and applying for jobs one-by-one is all well and good. But it consumes an awful lot of time. Recruitment agencies have access to dozens, sometimes hundreds, of employers. One CV potentially puts you in front of the whole lot.
2. Find the right openings
Once a recruiter has your CV, they do the heavy lifting of finding suitable vacancies for you. That’s their job. So, you can spend less time combing through the jobs boards for the latest updates. It’s a bit like a matchmaking service - albeit less romantic. The best recruitment agencies take a look at your skill set, listen to your ambitions and match you to job vacancies that fit.
3. Get professional insight on your career
Everyone feels a little career clueless from time to time. Are you in the right profession? Do you want to be in the same industry in ten years? The best recruitment agencies have experienced, knowledgeable consultants who can see how your skills could be perfectly suited for professions or sectors you may not have even considered. Food for thought.
4. Access jobs that aren’t advertised elsewhere
More and more businesses are using recruitment agencies to find their next employees. That means a lot of agencies know about vacancies long before they have been advertised online. If you want to get your name in the hat early, it’s best to use recruitment agencies.
5. Unsolicited CVs are a gamble
Again, not all jobs are advertised. And if you have a knock-their-socks-off CV, you could get results from sending speculative CVs to companies you like the look of. But it’s a gamble. Will your CV reach the right person? Do they have time to look at it? Recruitment agencies nurture relationships with (and have the contact details of) the decision-makers in hiring businesses. If your CV demands attention, you can be sure a recruitment agency will get it in front of the people who matter.
6. You have an advocate
Selling yourself is hard. But when you’ve got someone else talking up your career skills? Well, that’s far more likely to get results. Decent recruitment agencies nurture relationships with their clients. They know who to talk to in hiring businesses, they know precisely what they’re looking for and they know how to sell your skills in a way that resonates. You have someone going in to bat for you. And the upshot is that if you are approached to apply for a role, you can be sure that you are already considered a good fit.
7. Help with CV and interview technique
Some recruitment agencies look to place you with the first rough match that comes along. And that’s that. But the best recruitment agencies look at your CV and suggest ways you can improve it. They help you with your job applications. They provide interview tips and pass on the feedback they receive from their clients on your interview performance. It’s a valuable opportunity to sharpen your CV and fine-tune your interview skills.
>> How to write a sizzling CV that scores an interview >> How to prepare for an interview >> 5 interview questions that aren’t as scary as you thought >> How to nail your interview presentation >> 15 body language tips to ace your interview
8. Get the right salary
You’ve sailed through the interview process, you love the sound of the job and the hiring business loves you. There’s just one problem: the salary doesn’t match your expectations. The last thing you want is to appear greedy in your salary negotiations and risk souring the relationship with your new employer before it’s already begun. But you don’t want to settle for a salary that’s too low either. Recruitment agencies can help, acting as a mediator in salary negotiations and setting realistic salary expectations (both for you and the employer) based on the real-world market conditions.
9. Career development and ongoing support
With some recruitment agencies, placing you in a role is not the end of the relationship but the beginning. You can expect visits to make sure you’re happy in your new role, advice on how to take your career to the next level and recommendations of any training or qualifications that could help you increase your salary.
>> 7 reasons you should complete a professional development course
10. What type of agency?
Sounds good? You bet! The question then is not whether you should use a recruitment agency for your job search, but what type of agency you should use. Not all recruitment agencies are born equal. Some see you as no more than a CV and won’t even take the time to meet you. Some specialise in certain sectors or geographic locations. Others recruit for all professions, right across the UK. Choosing the right agency for you depends on what you’re looking for.
Here at Cathedral Appointments we specialise in jobs across the South West. We are based in Exeter and believe in getting to know our candidates as well as our clients. That way we can match you to vacancies that you find rewarding - and we keep our clients happy too. Importantly, we are a recruitment consultancy, which means we’ll not only find you the right job but will also help you through the process. It’s what we’ve been doing for businesses and ambitious professionals since 1988.
We can do the same for you.