If you’ve been using a recruitment agent and feel like you’ve been spinning your wheels without getting any results, remember that recruiters can’t create jobs.

We can only help you get a job that already exists, where one of our clients has approached us for help filling a position at their company. We see our job as helping our clients find people who can do particular tasks and/or fit into a team (i.e. organisational fit).

If you’re the best fit for a role, it’s in our interest to do anything we can to get it for you. One of the advantages agencies have is that we see you and your resume in relation to everyone else. We also see a range of roles in many different companies, and how people fit better into some team cultures than others. When you put all that together, an experienced or insightful recruiter can sense when a role is not healthy for someone or a contractor is not going to do their best work.

The best way to leverage agencies to find a job is to LISTEN

  • Ask your agent questions about what they’re observing of the market, companies, a potential role, and how to approach a particular role.
  • Weigh those observations against what you’re seeing in the field and what your friends and colleagues are telling you.
  • Target your approach to the market by homing in on a role you’re well suited to.

Remember: dealing with recruiters is about establishing trust, communication and (ideally) an ongoing relationship that extends to the next contract. Not surprisingly, these are also traits that the most successful contractors have in common.

Lyneve is a recruitment agent at TechWriter, a recruitment agency for documentation specialists. She has 8 years in recruiting, loves hazelnut chocolate and judicious use of semi-colons.