The good and the bad of job hunting via recruitment agencies

This is a post I’ve had in my mind for some time now and it’s based on my personal experience job hunting in the UK … ๐Ÿ“–

And so it begins …

Our story begins several years ago when I first moved to the UK and put my CV online on some job board websites. What I hadn’t realised at the time was that the sites would distribute the CV to a number of recruitment agencies which was both great and a bit scary ๐Ÿ˜…

Suddenly I had a lot of calls from recruiters that had roles I could apply for – amazing ๐ŸŽ‰! I felt and still feel so lucky to work in engineering and have these options available.

This has remained true ever since: I still receive calls/emails/LinkedIn messages about interesting roles in Engineering โค๏ธ

So what have I loved about talking with recruiters ?

There are truly a lot of things I have loved and learned over the years.

Such an amazing source of information

Recruiters have a unique perspective of both the market and how your skills and experience compare to other candidates. They can give you information that can help you figure out what to do next, things specific to the technologies you are interested in, skills that you missing for your target sector and so much more!

A great source of feedback

Recruiters can provide feedback at so many different levels. How you did in an interview, what you could improve on, what types of interviews to expect when applying for a role etc.

If you are lucky you will come across people who genuinely like to help you find the best opportunity. I still remember a recruiter who gave me feedback about how I had written my CV that helped me rewrite it (and what an improvement that was!)

They can help you negotiate

Although this is not often talked about, recruiters can help you during the negotiation process. Hopefully they have both your best interests in mind as well as the company’s they are recruiting for.

They have access to roles that may not be posted elsewhere

There are a lot of great opportunities out there, if only you knew about them! Recruiters can tell you about all the roles they are recruiting for, and some may not even appear in job board websites.

The things I have not loved ๐Ÿ™ˆ

As with every profession I guess you can come across a number of different people/personalities and levels of professionalism. The following are personal examples which I don’t believe are representative of the industry but I think are good pointers of red flags and hope that may help others ๐Ÿ™‚.

Do not be intimidated

I have had some cases where recruiters were rude, harsh, unfair or straight up completely unprofessional. I even had a recruiter tell me I would never find a job if I continue like that (… not sharing with him all the details of other companies I have applied for …).

In these cases it is really important to remember that your relationship is strictly professional and that you do not need to continue working together if you don’t want to.

It’s important to be happy with your new role

I also had cases where recruiters were trying to convince me to apply for roles that were a lot more junior than what I was looking for (and my level), or for a much lower salary๐Ÿ’ฐ.

I don’t want to speculate as to why that was but please remember that if this is the outlier and not a consistent message you are hearing from multiple recruiters it might just not be true.

And to end this in a positive note ๐ŸŽต

I have found recruiters that have been an absolute pleasure to work with that are happy to keep in touch with me and I almost always talk to whenever a new job hunt is about to begin ๐Ÿ˜‰

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