The job market is very tough and competitive these days and so it’s really important to have a clear strategy and to stay on top of your job search. Here we offer you 5 Golden Rules to ensure you stay in control of your career and job search:
1. Don’t just apply online. You immediately lose control of your CV and where it ends up. Take a look at our article on ‘Forget about your CV and start networking’.
2. Call the recruiter advertising the role and sound them out. Ask the basis of their engagement in filling the role the organisation, i.e. are they mandated, if so, jointly or on their own? Recruitment agents can be evasive when challenged for this information sometimes but don’t be apologetic about asking for reassurance. It is your CV that you are submitting and you should know that it’s for this role and this role only. If they want to put you up for anything else, ensure they check back with you first.
3. Consider other approach strategies if you are unconvinced by their responses. This might be contacting other recruiters advertising the same position, a direct approach or via your network, and perhaps using Linkedin in tandem with judicious online research to identify who and how to approach. This is a difficult area and best worked through with your coach as it is fraught with difficulty but highly effective if done right.
4. Know that headhunters or recruiters are not your friends. You are not their client, the organisation is. Their job is to fill a position with the best match they can find for the lowest remuneration. Some are far-sighted enough to realise that a happy candidate might become a repeat candidate or even a client, but these are few and far between. Being recruited through a third party tends not to be a repeat experience for a candidate. Your concern should be whether the role is truly right for you, advances your career and aligns with your skills, interests and aspirations. Rather like the estate agent trying to sell you a house, the recruiter is not necessarily interested in whether it is right for you. Those that are seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
5. Take ownership and manage your own job search. Use a spreadsheet to ensure you know who is making approaches on your behalf to who, avoiding the PR disaster of duplication to potential hirers.
We’re not trying to vilify the whole recruitment industry here, but advising you to tread with caution, especially now. Our anecdotal experience is overwhelmingly of frustrated candidates, partly due to a tough labour market but also due to the behaviour of the recruitment firms they have been using. Moreover, recent research has shown the efficacy of the recruitment process in matching people to jobs they will be happy in and stick to has been woefully weak. You need to use them, they need to use you. Just be clear about where their interests are aligned and take control of the process as much as you can.
For more help and support in your career contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at our Career Ignition Club.