How to make recruiters work for you

How to make recruiters work for you

Victoria McLean, CEO of career consultancy, reveals how to make recruiters work for you

Seeing your CV disappear into a recruitment agency’s black hole is one of the most dispiriting aspects of job-hunting – but don’t despair, and don’t give up.
According to the latest stats, almost half of UK employees will be looking for a new job this year; that’s a huge workload for the 23,000 registered recruitment agencies. Getting a good recruitment consultant or head-hunter on your side is always worth the effort, as their strong networks can help you land your dream job.

These are some of the questions that I’ve had over the years on how to ?nd, connect with and make the most of recruitment agencies

Q: Do I need to contact recruiters, or is it better to target companies directly?

A: An effective job search will involve both strategies, as building relationships with recruiters can de?nitely help you ?nd job openings and secure interviews. As well as introducing you to some of the best opportunities out there, a good recruiter will support you with the latest insights into the broader job market.

Q: My friends say that head-hunters approach them with opportunities, which never seems to happen to me – what am I doing wrong?

A: To improve your chances of being contacted, you need to be visible. The first thing that you must do is to make sure that your CV and LinkedIn profile are up to date. Over 90% of recruiters use LinkedIn to source potential candidates – and there are over 550million of them – so you really can’t afford to be inactive on this platform.
Don’t forget face-to-face networking, as it’s still imperative and will never go out of style. It’s estimated that 85% of jobs are found through networking, so maintaining a high profile in professional organisations, attending industry events and speaking at conferences will all help you get noticed by recruiters.

Q: How do I find the right recruitment consultant for me?

A: Like anything else, personal recommendation is always a good place to start, so ask friends and trusted colleagues in your network. Failing that, you can always search on LinkedIn or Google for recruitment agencies that specialise in your particular sector, geographic area and career stage.

Q: Why don’t recruiters respond to my emails or return my calls?

A: This is a really frustrating situation. Recruiters are busy people, dealing with hundreds of candidates, so your first job is to make sure that you don’t get lost in the pile of CVs and profiles. It’s not easy, but my tips are:

  • Do your research on the agency to make sure that your experience is relevant to their markets. Send a polite, personal message on LinkedIn to introduce yourself.
  • Make sure that your profile, CV and cover letter are relevant and concise.Highlight your key accomplishments and clearly specify what opportunities you’re interested in.
  • Be respectful and professional (you’d be amazed at how many candidates don’t get the basics right). Politely check in with them on a regular basis for an update.
  • Be helpful. If the recruiter has an opportunity that’s not for you, suggest someone else in your network.
  • Be honest and transparent, as there’s nothing worse than a timewaster. If you’re going for interviews with other companies, let your recruiter know (but don’t let them know the specific firms that you’re interviewing with- be discreet). Also, be realistic about salary expectations. If you decide that a job offer isn’t for you, be upfront about it, and if you change your mind about the position, inform them straight away.

Above all, remember that recruiters are always assessing you on how you’ll perform for their clients, so stay professional at all times. Even if they don’t ?nd the perfect opportunity for you right now, don’t burn bridges, as you never know when you might need their help in the future.

If you have any work-related questions or would like to know more
about City CV, contact Victoria on

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter