5 tips for candidates in partnering with agencies

“Send me through your resume so I can keep it on file.”

“I’ll keep you on the books and we’ll be in touch.”

“Now that I’ve got your details we’ll reach out once we have a match.”

Hands up if you are a recruiter and have used the above lines? Some of us use them every day. There is nothing wrong with these statements except for one thing… 99% of the time they are offering a false indication to the candidate. It’s a statement often used when a recruiter is unable to help a candidate for a variety of reasons. As a candidate you really don’t want to hear the above lines. So what can you do to effectively partner with an agency recruiter? Here’s 4 tips.


What do first impressions do? They count.

At a guess only 10% of candidates that send through an online application also call in. Effectively calling a recruiter about a job (see my tips here) creates a great first impression and leap frogs your application to the front of the line. You want to build a relationship with a recruiter and partner with them. This is the best way to get the ball rolling.


Don’t just sit there and wait

There’s a belief that once a candidate is interviewed by an agency that they can just sit back and wait for the agency to contact them again – leaving their application totally in the hands of the agency. Big mistake. If a recruiter averages 3 interviews a day (60+ per month) it’s pretty much impossible for them to keep everyone at front of mind. Politely keep in touch (once a week should be fine) via phone, email or even SMS.


Ask your recruiter how you can improve

At the end of your interview or in the days following, ask the recruiter for feedback on your resume, background and performance at interview. This helps you to improve and importantly shows the recruiter you are open to coaching and guiding – this can make a huge difference.


Ask for honest feedback and accept the answer

Be upfront with your recruiter, “so do you think you can help me? I don’t mind if you say no, I’d just like to know”. If a recruiter has interviewed you, (or even had a good chat and read through your resume) most of the time they will know if they can help you. Asking for honest feedback – and being prepared to cop a “no” – it can help you move onto the next thing, saving you a lot of time and hassle.


Keep in touch long-term

If your initial interaction with the recruiter wasn’t successful, it’s still a good networking opportunity that can have future benefits. Keeping in touch (via LinkedIn for example) offers the recruiter an opportunity to stay connected with you. Who knows, in 12 months time they may have a great position for you and if you are front of mind then its them approaching you.

Good luck with your job hunting.


James Witcombe

The Candidate Coach

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