With the recession, agencies are facing a deluge of applicants alongside a drop in the number of jobs available. So it’s even more important to use your interpersonal skills to create a good working relationship with them.
Lisa is one of my clients. Part of her job search strategy is to register with recruitment agencies. She approached all agencies in her local town. A consultant at one of them openly laughed when she said she was looking for a job, and said that they didn’t have anything.
Lisa had a well written CV which emphasised her skills – everything was focused on customer service/ reception type work. She has brilliant customer service skills and that’s what she has been doing.
Whilst Lisa had done some finance work, she found working with numbers very stressful and she made it clear that she wasn’t interested in this work and was seeking reception work.
Imagine how she felt when she found she was being put forward for a job in finance, and also that her CV was being chan;ged to make her appear as more suitable than she is. Lisa sent me an email which included
“They have ‘adapted’ my CV and have put me forward for a job interview next week. On looking at the JD (there was no Person Spec attached) it’s more a financial assistant post! Do these people not listen? I am thinking at the moment that it would be a waste of the interview panel’s time and – more importantly – another dent in my confidence”.
Lisa called me, wondering what to do. The recruitment agency was putting her forward for a job as a financial assistant and had even changed her CV to emphasise her experience. They also changed her Excel competence up from basic to expert, which clearly wasn’t the case. She could only do simple activities using excel and lacked confidence, but it was also clearly work she didn’t want to do.
We agreed that she would tell the agency that she would not go for the interview and spend more time on the direct approach to job hunting.
Do remember that agencies are there to serve the people who pay them – the employers. This means, like Lisa, that you may find yourself pushed into something that’s not right for you.