As recent graduates and prospective employees, we find ourselves thrust out into the open world scrambling frantically to keep ahead of the swarms of others like us in that race for our ideal job.
Daunting – no doubt, but not an impossible task if you ensure you know how best to utilise those tools and organisations designed to get you employed. Though far too often, we place our faith in agencies to hunt down a job for us, not entirely aware of the role they play in this process. The assumption is often that as a recruitment agency, they will take your skill set and find the roles best matched to it, keeping in mind the industry you wish to build a career in.
However, having now worked for a large recruitment agency, seeing the underbelly of the beast so to speak, I see that my judgement was more than a shade off. Do you want to know what recruitment agencies do with your CV? Read on.
Your CVs Lie In A Database. Period.
As applicants, our details are uploaded onto a database and subsequently they remain there, unless we are suitable for jobs that command a large enough commission for the recruitment consultant to make us worth their while. We, as job seekers, become means by which an agency can make the most profit. If we hold no profit, then our CV is left by the wayside.
This is not to say that agencies hold no place in the graduate job market, far from it. It is however, crucial that you sell yourself to them as a top quality candidate, not only through a well written CV, but also by keeping in contact with a consultant at the agency and building a rapport with them. If you are compliant with all they need, they are far more likely to want to do well for you. How does that often coined phrase go? “It’s not what you know, but who you know” that matters. Nothing could be truer. Consultants want to convert CVs into fees but do your utmost to ensure your CV is top of the pile. A few pointers on convincing them:
> Make regular contact with the agency: specifically with a particular consultant, so they begin to remember you as a keen and enthusiastic applicant. I’d recommend calling up once at the beginning of every week when their workload is likely lighter than late on a Friday.
> Build a rapport with your consultant: so asking them how their day has been, or if they have any holidays coming up, or other chit-chat is always great to coax out their more amiable nature. They like you – they will work harder for you.
> Be specific: don’t be afraid to specify the exact range of roles you’re after. This avoids consultants asking to put you forward for a role you don’t much care for and thus wasting their time. If you make it easier on them, you’ll benefit long term.
> Ensure you have a specialist consultant fighting your corner: consultants working for larger agencies tend to have a specific industry focus. If you are after an IT role, ensure that you are not being managed by a general clerical roles consultant.
> Make your CV shine: during my time working in Recruitment, I was shocked by the number of CVs that came my way looking tired and drab, waffling on endlessly. Concise is better with agencies. Your qualifications and experience tend to be the focus of agencies, the rest of the CV is skim read on the whole.
Guest Post written by Mike Perry
Image Credit: Advancing People