(Left to right: Harriette Anderson & Lauren Harris)
It is a recruitment consultant’s job to help others find the right job – but they can’t excel at that without commitment from the candidate.
TeamJobs’ Technical Consultant Lauren Harris and Industrial Consultant Harriette Anderson offer some advice on how people can make themselves attractive to employers.
When you are looking for a new role, it is important to take responsibility.
“It is important to know what an agency does” says Harriette. Whilst we help people with their career - it’s our responsibility together and it has to be all our effort.”
“We had a couple of candidates recently who had never produced a CV. With candidates for Industrial roles, their CVs may not be up to date, It is important to make sure that your CV has structure and is clear.
(And if compiling a CV doesn’t come easily to you, there’s a helpful CV-building tool on the TeamJobs website, click here)
The hunt for a role you really want will require an investment of time attention, time and sometimes money.
You may have to be like the electrician who consulted Lauren recently. Having been self-employed, he lacked the certificate that would recommend him to an employer.
“He has the experience, but he didn’t have the paperwork. I said to him ‘I could find you a job tomorrow, but you need this accreditation’. So, I went online and found all the relevant information and I emailed it over to him” she says.
“Whilst there was a financial investment, it would also need time off for a five-day course. He is currently in a position where he is doing strenuous hours and he is away half the time, so for him it would be much better.”
Lauren understands this from personal experience, having switched from a management role at a major retailer to a career in recruiting. Being committed can pay dividends.
“It wasn’t for me. I didn't want to be in retail for the rest of my life, but I was on a great package and thought, ‘What do I do?’. I had to move somewhere else.”
The one thing Lauren had enjoyed about her retail job had been the recruitment days, so she fired off letters to everyone she could in the recruitment industry to ask about opportunities.
Having Clear Expectations
You can’t always climb the career ladder as quickly as you would like.
Ambition is great, but it is important to be realistic about the positions you might have to accept in the short term – especially if you are shifting careers.
“Just because someone has worked for a high-profile company, does not mean they have entitlement to walk into any job, at any level” says Harriette.
Having a good relationship with a recruitment consultant can make all the difference.
“I think it would be very hard not to have a relationship with one of us or get on well with us,” says Harriette. “For someone to make a bad impression is quite a big deal.”
When a consultant gets to know you, there can be a real sense of familiarity.
“I placed someone recently within a cosmetics firm. She has been a teacher and worked as a hairdresser. She doesn’t have any experience in this, but she is fantastic – so you can get a good relationship straight away with your candidate,” says Harriette.
“It is similar with your friends. When you get to know people, you know what situations they are going to be okay with and what kind of people they will get along with. You know which friends you can introduce to your boss and you know which friends you can introduce to your auntie.
“I think it is our job to build that kind of relationship with the candidates, so you know which clients they are going to be best suited for.”
Finally, having the right personality means a great deal.
Harriette says: “If someone had two years’ experience in a particular job and one had one year, but the one with lesser experience came across with warmth and character, perhaps a client would probably go for the person with personality.”
Lauren says: “You may have two superb candidates for one client, but you know that they will be drawn more to one person, because their culture fits, how they work and their sense of humour.”
Harriette concludes: “If we walk in to see someone and they’re smiling at you the first time we meet a candidate, I think that starts the whole process differently.”
Finding the next role with the help of a consultant means you are part of a team effort and there is a lot you can do to improve your chances of success.
After all, you can only expect a consultant to work as hard on your behalf as you are prepared to work for yourself.