Employment recruitment agencies are a great resource during a career change.
They can get you in front of employers, provide insightful industry information and if managed right, can also provide general career change help.
However, employment recruitment agencies should only be resorted to after you have completed your self-discovery and uncovered your inborn aptitudes.
It is no good visiting an employment agency until you are very clear on what your natural abilities are and what type of job you want to use those abilities in.
The more targeted and focused on a specific job type that you are when you visit an agency, the more they will warm to you and the more they will be able to help you.
Presenting yourself in this way makes their job easy and they love job applicants who make their job easy.
Agencies Work for the Employer
Employment recruitment agencies primarily work for [and are paid by] the employer.
But the process is very much a win-win situation for both employees and employers.
Agencies need fantastic employees coming through their doors as much as they need great employers with job opportunities.
If the agency doesn’t provide the employer with the very best staff, they will not get any repeat business.
Employment Agencies Can Provide You with Valuable Information
Employment recruitment agencies can be a fantastic source of industry information once you have established the direction you want to go to.
It is important that you choose an agency that is specializing in your area of employment.
Before meeting with the agency’s purpose to establish a good rapport, then use the meeting to gain inside industry information.
Make up a list of your questions before you go.
What do you need to know about the industry and what do you need to know about the main employers within the industry.
As mentioned asking questions like this can only be done after you have established rapport, so plan ahead how you will do this.
Find out how many placements the agency works with on average each month/year within the industry you are interested in?
You can also point out that you are proactively changing careers.
Prod them for any industry-specific career change help that they think would benefit someone in your position.
You may be surprised at some of the valuable tips that an agent working in a specialist employment area can offer on how to change careers successfully.
Employment Agencies Love Passionate People
A critical component of your interview with the employment agency is to convey in great detail and with great passion, your innate abilities.
Of course, you can only do this once you have established what they as a result of completing your career assessment.
There is nothing more enjoyable for employment recruitment agencies than to place a genuinely passionate and gifted employee with an employer who is in need of those exact talents.
A number of employment recruitment agencies work in a proactive manner, in that when they discover someone who is particularly passionate and gifted in an area, they will contact known employers to see if they have an opening.
Employers are always willing to employ people who can add to their organization despite the fact they may not have a particular opening prior to being introduced to a prospect.
[This is how I employed my now wife. She applied for a job in a business that I owned but she wasn’t suitable for the advertised management role. However, I could see that she had some gifts and abilities that we could use. So I created a job for her]
Use Employment Recruitment Agencies For Practice Interviews
There may be two different instances where you find yourself sitting in front of a recruitment agent.
One is when you are seriously chasing a job they have advertised or a job that you think they may have on their books.
The other instance is a little less formal where you manage to arrange a meeting with the agency to test the market and to use the meeting to gather additional industry information.
The agency will always be looking at you as a potential candidate to market to employers, however, you may not be ready for that yet if you are still in the information-gathering mode.
In both cases, the meeting or interview with the employment agency is a good opportunity for job interview practice.
One thing that job seekers get very little practice during their job search is interview training.
Of course, if you are applying for a lot of jobs and managing to get a number of interviews, you will get practice this way.
However, you really want to be good at job interviewing before the first real job interview comes along so that opportunities are not wasted.
Here is a piece of career change advice that I have seen to help many people.
Practice Job Interview Training in Front of a Video Camera
I have seen numerous job applicants substantially improve their job interview techniques by simply watching themselves on video in a mock interview.
This is something you can easily do yourself.
Using my list of job interview questions, find a friend or family member to ask you the questions on camera.
Then sit down and watch yourself in the interview while taking notes of the areas you can improve in.
Repeat this exercise a few times implementing your improvements.
You will quickly become proficient at job interviewing.
What To Do After the Job Agency Meeting
1. If you were pursuing a particular job, then you should send the agency a thank you note and small gift soon after the meeting, but before you know any decision will be made.
I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion,
I think it must be gratitude.
For example post [don’t e-mail] a handwritten ‘thank you for the interview’ note expressing your gratitude for the opportunity for an interview.
You could also enclose a token gift such as a small chocolate bar or coffee voucher to a nearby cafe etc if you thought it was appropriate.
The ‘thank you for the interview’ note should include:
- a thank you for the opportunity to interview for the position
- a very brief [one to two sentences maximum] reiteration of why you would love the job
- a thank you for any advice or career change help as a result of your questions.
- your token thank you gift( if any)
Why do you send a thank-you note and a small gift?
Firstly, it’s common courtesy to say thank you to someone who has provided you a possible job opportunity.
Secondly, you do this because everything you do in your job search must be done in a way that differentiates you from the masses.
You are in the marketing game and marketing is all about standing out from the crowd in a positive light.
2. If you weren’t pursuing a particular job but this was more of a general meeting with one of the employment recruitment agencies to gather industry information and test the market, you should still send the gift and the ‘thank you for interview’ note as above.
Because your goal is to leave an impression on everybody that you network with so that they are happy to hear from you again in the near future.
These little acts of kindness help you stand apart from others and it leaves the door open for further contact. You might be amazed at how the little things can make a big difference.