New rules on the Jobseeker’s Allowance came in at the end of October, with a great deal of highly charged press coverage. An immediate knock-on effect seems to be that people on Jobseeker’s Allowance are already coming under greater pressure to show evidence of their jobseeking activities. Here at Sue Hill Recruitment we have recently seen a higher number of candidates coming forward for the jobs we advertise, who are keen to be kept informed about every stage of their applications.
If you have been out of work for some time, recruitment agencies are undoubtedly one of a number of avenues that you will be exploring. See Anne's Top Ten Tips on using recruiters for the basic lowdown.
To get the best out of your relationship with an agency, there are a few points that it is worth remembering. Our clients drive our business, and pay our bills. Subsequently we follow their instructions when dealing with a role, and we will only present them with candidates who are the best fit for the work in hand. Often we can only submit a limited number of CVs, so we have to be very selective.
It may be tempting to apply for every job in sight that you think you can do, but this will be counter-productive. You will waste time, you will get frustrated, and you may lose track of what it is that you are really able (and want) to do. Aim for quality not quantity. There are no prizes for the highest number of job applications.
If a job advert and and job description have specific essential criteria, and you don’t meet them, we will not put you forward for the job. Being overqualified can be as much an obstacle as being underqualified. If you are applying for roles that are more junior than those you have done in the past, it can be a tough call for us to present you effectively to a client. If you are genuinely prepared to work at a more junior level, treat your application in the same way as applying for a job in a different sector. Be prepared to completely rewrite your CV and provide a targetted supporting statement for each job that you are being submitted for.
Be organised about your jobseeking. If you are registered with more than one agency, keep track of where your CV goes. If your details land on the same hiring manager’s desk twice it can look unprofessional, as well as be embarrassing for the recruiter.
Sometimes we have to move very quickly to meet our clients’ deadlines. If you don’t respond to a message we send you within a couple of days you may miss out. Keep us informed about any change in your circumstances – contact details, experience, salary requirements etc. If we don’t have the right details for you, again you may miss out.
We understand that you may be under considerable pressure to find work. In fact, some of us have been in the same position in the not too distant past, and we know what it’s like. However difficult things may seem, be patient and courteous in all your communications. Observe basic email etiquette, and avoid the urgent flag unless it really is an emergency. Save your draft and think hard before hitting send. A hastily worded email, or an irate phonecall may be remembered for a long time.
It’s also vital to take time out and do something completely different for part of the week, ideally something that you actually like doing! Being unemployed can be very isolating, so keep in regular touch with friends and colleagues, and keep your networks going.
Keep positive, keep focused, and keep in touch.
- Donald Lickley