Author Topic: How I used the recruiters the right way to land a job: Sharing my experience  (Read 3154 times)

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Devil the Little

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 Meet moi! I am a software developer based in London, UK and I recently had to go through the whole putting my CV online on job boards, getting calls from the recruiters, going on interviews and then finally landing a job role.
 I don't have a public blog, and yet I wanted to share the experience and dispel some myths that I came across while I was doing the job hunting. I will also like to share how best to deal with the recruiting agency industry who  can be your best friend if used right. This post is a bit long but I hope you find it helpful.

First: 3 Reasons to Use a Recruitment Agency:-
1.    Upload CV, Sit Back and Relax...(almost):
All you need is a nicely formatted CV detailing your accomplishments, experience and education and then uploading it online. Then you simply wait for the phone to ring. The calls (assuming that your CV is a good CV) start coming almost immediately and (most) recruiters will have a vacancy they will be eager to represent you for. No need to search for who is hiring.
2.    No tailored cover letters, no tailored CVs:
That’s right! That is a HUGE time saver. If you were to sit there looking for companies on the net that were hiring, then reading the job specification, customizing your CV , customizing your cover letter, sending it and hoping it won’t be ignored just because the email filter thought it was spam, it would  take tons and tons of hours.
Instead, when you use a recruiter it is highly unlikely they will ask you for a tailored CV, or for a cover letter. They do all the work for you.
3.    Exceptionally high interview set up rate:
The per application interview call rate is amazingly high when you do it through a recruiter. If you go solo and apply directly, it drops dramatically. If you don’t believe me just do a google search on any job seekers forum and you will read stories upon stories of how the poor people never even get called for an initial telephone interview. Granted there are lots of other reasons for these people to not get called but I speak from personal experience.
Now:How to Use the Recruitement Agencies Effectively:-Make a Nice CV:
You need a nice CV( Resume) . Just because you can code blindfolded doesn’t mean you can do a great CV too. There are companies that can make a nice CV for you. Make sure there are no spelling/grammatical mistakes, and always get a friend to see it before you put it online.
Now Upload Your CV:
Depending on the country you are in, submit your CV online on the popular websites. Some websites give you the option to write a little summary , simply write a few lines on the kind of role you are looking for. Again remember, no grammatical/spelling mistakes here and use a formal language.
Deal with the Calls the right way:
This is the crucial step. Now is the time that recruiters contact you. You MUST know how to deal with them the RIGHT way , as divulging all kinds of information that they will ask about can actually be damaging ( yes, I will show you how below).
Recruiters are not programmers- Go easy on them:
Most recruiters are not programmers. I have read a lot of forum posts where job seeking programmers went on and on about how the recruiter didn’t know the difference among what I would consider fairly technical topics ( EF and MEF for example, speaking in terms of .Net family). Why do you care if the recruiter doesn’t know what changed between .Net 3.5 and 4?  But many posters on this forum clearly became rude and insulting to the recruiter exactly because of similar reasons.
The recruiter is a sales-person. Cut them some slack, they are simply trying to tick some boxes before they put you up for the role.
Do not say no to initial stage interviews, even if you dislike the role:
Not every role the recruiters tell you about will be for you. But if you have not interviewed in a while (or have never interviewed ever) do not say no. Sound interested and tell them to setup an interview. You don’t have to take the job but you need to practice your interview skills and your “story” when the real good one comes along. All interviews have more or less the same questions and you need to practice answering them in the best way possible. Do as many interviews as you can and prepare yourself.
Never provide references before a job offer:
Every employer wants references – that is fair enough. However, they do not need the references BEFORE making a job offer, or even conducting an interview. Only a tiny minority ( I believe it was only two) recruiters that asked to provide a reference before even the first interview. I personally simply said no. The last thing you want is random people ringing up your ex-boss ( or worse, present boss) asking for a reference. After three or four calls , the boss’s hate meter for you will hit the roof. The reference call, or the letter is precious. Keep it for the end. Yes I possibly lost two potential interviews because of that but it was worth it in my mind.
Beware the questions-loving-time wasters:
When a recruiter calls you for the first time, they will typically introduce themselves, ask a few questions about your situation and then simply tell you the name of the company and the job description ( or they will email it). They have already gone through your CV on the job board, and the few questions is all that stands between you and the application.
However, be warned of the small minority that will just ask questions, upon questions, upon questions to try to “get to know you so they can provide a better match”. This “better match” never manifested – ever- in my experience. This guy who just asks questions upon questions has no active job role. Do not hate them, they are doing their job- after this chat they will get on the phone trying to find a vacancy to put you up for.
That works for them, but not for me. I would rather not do a 30 minute interview when there isn’t even a real vacancy. If you have not been told about the vacancy in 3-5 minutes, either you did not match the recruiter’s criteria, or most likely, they don’t have anything for you. I would personally politely say that I have other affairs to attend to and get off the phone. Carrying on this conversation meant I was just wasting my time. After I had spoken to 20 different recruiters, I could easily spot the question-lover within 3 minutes, and so will you.
VERY IMPORTANT! Don’t trust online forums and/or blogs and what people write there:
This sounds almost ridiculously hypocritical considering that this itself is kind of a blog post and I myself am one of those people. The reason I firmly believe this is that reading stories of discrimination, racism, being out of employment for months and other rants is a bad influence for you. It will play tricks with your mind. You don’t know this particular person who claims to have sent 100 + applications and who is still jobless after six months. Every job seeker and every employer has a different situation. NEVER believe the figures, trends or other people. Go and find out for yourself, and I will actually guarantee that you will find that reality is completely different ( and in a better way at that)
CONCLUSION:The actual interviews:-
There are tons upon tons of articles online on how to prepare for an interview, how to dress, how to talk and so on. I will not repeat that information here, although I will probably write another post on how I conducted the interviews and what I found really worked and what didn’t. I wish you all the best in your job hunt, and hope you find exactly what you are looking for.


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