How to job search through recruitment agencies – expert tips from VHR Recruitment

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Looking for your first full-time role, but not sure where to start? Working with a recruitment agency gives you the best chance of finding your perfect job.

1. Create Your CV

Before you contact a recruitment agency, you need to write a CV. Your CV shows off your education, work experience and skills, and when used well, it can be an excellent advert to promote you to potential employers.

Here are some top tips to help you write a good CV:

  • Summary – Write two sentences about who you are and what you’re looking for. Talk about your current situation and what type of work you are seeking, so that when a potential employer looks at your CV, they’ll know if you’re suitable for their job. If you find it difficult to write about yourself, ask a friend or family member to help – they’ll know your best qualities.
  • Education & Achievements – Include any qualifications you have, both academic and vocational, as well as other achievements such as music grades, sports wins or volunteer work. Hobbies and interests show that you’re a passionate person who works hard and takes great care in what they do.
  • Work Experience – Write down each piece of work experience, no matter how short, and explain exactly what you did and what skills you learned. For example, you can discuss how working in a restaurant helped build your people and communication skills, or how babysitting improved your patience and time management abilities.
  • Attention to Detail – Though it sounds obvious, dedicate time to reading through your CV for spelling, grammar and anything you’ve missed out. It’s all too common for recruitment consultants to find errors in candidate CVs – proper proof-reading will set a positive first impression.

2. Find the Right Recruiter for You

Although job advertising sites like Reed have over 200,000 jobs, recruitment agencies will be in touch with employer companies directly.

3. Why should you use a recruitment agency?

  • The Best Jobs – When large companies use a recruitment agency, the recruitment agency has total control over advertising jobs and arranging interviews. If you register with a recruitment agency, your recruiter will inform you about the the latest jobs first, before they are advertised.
  • The Best Advice – Your recruitment consultant is as successful as you are – they want you to get the job. Your recruiter will take time to understand your skills and personality to pitch you as best they can to a potential employer and position you as the best candidate for the company.
  • The Best Preparation – Your recruiter is ideally placed to help you prepare for your job interview: they know exactly what your potential employer is looking for. They’ll coach you in general interview skills, let you in on specific questions the company is likely to ask and fill you in on the most important things the company are looking for.
  • The Best Chance of Success – All the above reasons mean that, simply put, using a recruitment agency gives you a much higher chance of getting a job.

There are over 33,000 recruitment companies in the UK. How can you find the recruitment company that will understand you and help you on your career path? You have a few options:

  • Search by popularity – Recruitment companies who work across many different types of jobs in many different industries will appear at the top of a Google search and will have a large variety of jobs available. For example, Hays has over 5,000 jobs across Finance, Healthcare, Business, Charities, Manufacturing, Law, Music, Retail, Travel, Technology and Government.
  • Search by location – A number of agencies specialise in jobs in certain regions or cities, for example Robert Half in London.
  • Search by industry – Recruiters who are experts in the industry you want to join will understand the way it works, and can help match you to the best jobs in this industry. For example, VHR is an engineering recruitment company lead by former Formula 2 drivers and Aviation engineers.

Once you’ve found a handful of recruitment agencies you like, make time to look through their website and social media presence. Read case studies and quotes from previous candidates to understand how the recruitment agency works and their level of success in helping people find work.

4. Meet Your Recruiter

Send a polite email to a few recruitment companies asking for a meeting. Your recruiter may call your meeting an interview. Act exactly as if it were a job interview: dress smartly, research directions to your meeting place to ensure you arrive in plenty of time, and bring along a copy of your CV.

Prepare a summary to help your recruiter understand what you’re looking for, including:

  • Your best skills – ‘Softer’ skills such as communication are just as important as technical skills like coding or computer programmes
  • Your passions – Hobbies, interests and goals can provide the key to what will motivate and inspire you at work
  • Your style – Are you better working in a team or alone? Do you like working outside, with your hands or computers?
  • Your personal goals – Are you aiming to move out or save up to buy a new car? Do you want to become an expert in a new skill or pursue a creative passion?

Equally, if you’re less sure about the kind of job you want, your recruiter will also be able to make recommendations for you after your meeting.

5. Take A Recruiter’s Feedback on Board

A good recruitment consultant will encourage you to promote yourself as best you can. After your first interview or meeting with a recruiter, they will have a better idea of the jobs that might suit you and may have some advice to help you in your job search.

Many recruiters will ask you to tailor your CV to a specific job they’d like you to interview for. This usually involves:

  • Changing some of the wording in your CV so that an employer will recognise certain words that they’re looking for
  • Highlighting some specific experience or achievements rather than others
  • Reducing the length of your CV (less than 3 pages is ideal) or going into more detail for some aspects of your work experience or achievements.

6. Constant Communication

Keep in touch with your recruiter as much as you can. Your recruitment consultant will be dedicated to finding you a job as soon as you first meet them, so the opportunities for a job interview may come in quickly – you don’t want to miss out.

If you don’t hear back from your recruiter after a few days, don’t assume that all is lost. They may have been very busy, away on holiday or could be very close to securing you an interview.

Once you’ve landed your interview, speak to your recruiter and write down all the advice they give you to prepare for your interview. Once you’ve had your interview, your recruiter should call straight away to find out what you thought. Politely give your honest feedback – you’re testing to see whether you like your potential new company, as much as they’re assessing you – and your recruiter will get honest feedback.

If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying – sometimes a job isn’t the right fit for you, but another will be right around the corner. Your recruitment consultant will have helped hundreds or even thousands of people find a job, and with them on your side, you’re set for success.

VHR Technical Recruitment – who are we?

VHR Technical Recruitment banner

We’re an international technical recruitment organisation working with big names (like F1 Racing) in the fields of technology and engineering. We are an official Youth Friendly Employer, which means we take care of the young people we employ. Our VHR Academy can train you to have a successful and rewarding recruitment career. You don’t need to know about technology, and you don’t need experience or qualifications. You just need to be excited to take your next steps into a dynamic, friendly work environment where young people matter and diversity is at the heart of what we do.

Interested? Click the button to find out more.

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