Whether you apply directly or through a recruiter, there are a few things you can do to help yourself... Tell you what, let’s make a list:
1 DIARISE EVERYTHING: Not just on your phone. Hand write it out in a week-view diary so you don’t completely miss an appointment (yes, it happens). The kinaesthetic act of writing helps internalise the details.
2 USE A RANGE OF RECRUITERS: register your details with several agents, not just the big, established ones. I have had excellent service from small, specialist start-up agents who are hungry for success, having invested everything into their business. On the other hand, if it’s a temporary, less specialist position you want, a bigger, less personal agency with national coverage may be better. Or, do you need an agent that guides and advises you through each step? You can ascertain this from online reviews and your initial meeting.
3 TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR SEARCH: accept that you may need to do most of the chasing and if you see a job advertised online yourself, Google the recruiter and call them – even if you have already posted your CV online. And whilst we’re on the subject – make your contact details clear and correct!
4. ONLY APPLY FOR RELEVANT JOBS: be selective, if you don’t fit the criteria, leave it – applying for everything will make you look desperate. If you’re with a good agent, they should also apply this reasoning.
5. BE PROMPT: missed a call from a recruiter? Return it ASAP. If the recruiter sends details of an interview, confirm you received them. After the interview, call them with detailed, precise feedback; then give the agent time to contact the client before you chase again. It goes without saying that you need to arrive at your actual interview well-groomed, on time and remember to be respectful when discussing past employers!
6. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR RECRUITER: explain clearly what your ideal job is and what else you would consider. Ask your agent for advice. Also, as they have so many candidates, establish how often you should call. Sometimes a couple of minutes catch up is all you need to keep yourself at the front of their minds.