Tips for Using Employment Agencies in Your Job Search

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Employment AgenciesWhether it’s your first or second career, employment agencies can be helpful to you in your job search.

Career employment agencies tend have many job postings you may not find online or in the newspaper. An employment agency can act as a liaison between you and a prospective employer. Employers rely on employment agency recruiters to refer to them the best possible candidates. The agency representative may be able to get you an interview faster than if you’d just submitted the resume cold.

Here are a few tips that will give you an idea of what to expect from an employment agency.

  1. The employment agency works for the employer seeking qualified candidates, not you. The agency representative is merely the “middleman” between you and potential employers. The agency earns a fee, paid by the employer, when they successfully fill the position by referring the best candidate.
  2. Submitting your resume to multiple agencies is fine, but let each agency know that you are working with more than one agency. This may motivate an agency to work harder to get you a job. Likewise, let any agency you’re working with know if you directly apply for a job so that they won’t submit your resume for that particular job.
  3. If you submit your resume to an employment agency and don’t hear anything, call them to follow up and see if they received your resume. You can inquire about where they submitted your resume and any feedback they received. Don’t be a nuisance and call the agency every day. It’s just annoy the representative and reflect poorly on you. Check in weekly to see how things are progressing.
  4. Dress appropriately for an interview with a recruiter. How you present yourself to employment agency representative is an indication of how you will present yourself to prospective employers. Make sure your resume is up to date and be prepared to ask questions about the employer and the job. No matter where you are in your career, employment agencies have quite a bit of influence with employers. First impressions are lasting ones.
  5. If a recruiter tells you to revamp your resume, don’t take it personally. Your resume may be sending the wrong message to employers, and a recruiter can help you tweak your resume to make it stand out among the hundreds or thousands of resumes employers receive every day. If you’re just starting out in a new career, employment recruiters can help you avoid many newbie mistakes when job hunting.
  6. If using online recruiters, submit your resume in plain Word or text format. Use sites with job alerts to keep you abreast of new job openings. Keep active, detailed profiles and join networking groups. Don’t put your home address, cell or phone number or social security number on your resume if you make available to the public. Use an email address with a name that isn’t cutesy or risque. Lastly, get rid of ring tones or voice mail greetings that blast loud rap or rock music when someone calls. Your friends may think they’re cool, but it may turn off a potential employer.

Recruitment and employment agencies can be a great way to network your way into a new job. They have access to jobs that you might not be able to find on the net – jobs are often so time-sensitive that employers fill them before they are even posted. Having a solid recruiter by your side can be a great boon to your career. If you treat the relationship respectfully, it is possible to develop a long term business partnership with mutual benefit.

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Marie is a writer for covering career advice, recruitment topics, and HR issues. She has an educational background in languages and literature as well as corporate experience in Human Resources.