How to get a job through a recruitment agency: mistakes to avoid
What could be hard about finding a job using a recruitment agency? After all, dealing with them is supposed to make things easier, not create additional problems!
However, a recruitment agency is just a tool, and to use a tool you have to follow specific rules and avoid certain mistakes – which is exactly what this article is about.
- Not treating the interview seriously
Many job seekers forget that recruitment agencies are paid by companies, therefore, agencies are working for them, not for you. This doesn’t mean that they don’t care about you and your needs, but you should remember that the goal of a person starting a recruitment agency is to find suitable employees for the companies they deal with, not to find jobs for job seekers at all costs. This means that you should treat your interview with the agency as a real interview with a company: dress appropriately, try to present yourself in the best possible light, prepare a high-quality resume and make sure you are ready to answer all the common questions asked during an interview.
- Choosing the wrong agency
You probably wonder how you will know what a wrong agency looks like. There are several factors that determine the quality of a recruitment agency. Firstly, you should check its reputation. Check if the agency is represented in online directories of recruitment agencies, what people say about it and so on. Secondly, check what industries it works with and what kind of jobs it provides: temporary, temp-to-hire or permanent. Thirdly, see if it has been in business for a long time – if it only recently got the necessary recruitment finance needed to start out, it may be a wise decision to avoid dealing with it for now.
- Not being open for negotiation
It’s not a bad thing to follow your dreams, but you have to be realistic about your abilities and opportunities. The truth is that a professional recruiter will notice if your qualifications don’t meet the requirements of the desired job. Focusing on the jobs you can’t have will make you lose all the other opportunities you don’t want to consider. Meanwhile, you are losing your time, potential income and a chance to obtain the much-needed work experience. So, even if you are looking for a full-time position, don’t automatically turn down temporary jobs or contract work. They can help you improve your skills, and who knows, perhaps you can impress the employer and get him to hire you full-time.
Not being fully honest is just as bad a practice when dealing with recruitment agencies as it is when you are dealing directly with an employer. So make it clear what your goals are (to land a full-time job, to get an experience you will need when looking for the next position, etc.), don’t try to conceal facts from your employment history and be straightforward about your availability. If you are only available on certain days of the week, don’t waste your and the recruiter’s time by not mentioning it from the get-go.
- Waiting idly
Going to a recruitment agency shouldn’t be a pretext to idly sit in one place and patiently waiting for their reply. If you haven’t heard from them for a while, get in touch with them again – perhaps if you modify your search requirements they will be able to provide better results. Use other resources (online searches, job boards, look through your network within the industry). However, if you do so, don’t hide it from the recruiters – some employers won’t consider an application if they see it more than once.
Mistakes are unavoidable – but making sure you make as few of them as possible is a recipe for success!
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