How Not to be Written Off by 'Feverish’ Recruitment Agencies - New Advice for Jobseekers from

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Job hunters need to take positive action and find ways to stand out - or consider being their own recruiter, say experts at

Understanding what makes a recruiter tick can help jobseekers get one step ahead

Job hunters who’ve recently been made redundant are increasingly feeling ignored by recruitment agencies, say job market experts . With the recruitment industry in disarray after substantial job losses, low morale and new market pressures, it’s not surprising that many job applicants can feel overlooked. Experts say jobseekers need to find better ways to get noticed and supported by recruitment consultancies.

“Jobseekers need to take positive action and find ways to stand out,” says Tor Macleod, of “There are some key steps that will help jobseekers in their job search, but the onus is increasingly on the jobseeker. Understanding what makes a recruiter tick can help them get one step ahead. The recruitment industry can have a reputation of being a high profit, aggressive industry, so understand the system and work with it. The key is coming across as a winning applicant - one they can easily place in one of their clients’ businesses.”

Market conditions have dramatically affected the way recruiters work – and how they are paid. Because of feverish competition between recruiters, increased demands from employers, a high influx of applicants and fewer job openings, recruiters are spending less time qualifying applicants.

“It’s all about the rush to be first to get a CV to the hiring company to ensure that potential commission comes their way,” explains Tor. “Previous qualifying time could be seen by jobseekers as positive attention and good for career advice, but now it is speed of service, rather than quality of service, that most matters in the market. Frankly, that’s not what quality recruiters are happy with, but it’s a daily truth.”

Rules of thumb:

Make your CV as compelling as possible. Understand and clearly state your ‘transferable’ skills, ie, what you do well that another employer will find valuable.

Be clear where you can be marketed effectively. By career planning, you will be able to provide concise information to your recruiter, which saves them valuable time. Which industries or companies will suit you well? What roles?

Have a positive outlook; be confident and passionate about what you do.

Offer extra value to the recruiter by recommending friends or colleagues who they may be able to place.

Let them know if you’ve heard of companies that are hiring.

Offer to change your CV to match the job descriptions. In different times, a recruiter would do this for you, but they are short of time and long on pressure.

Once a recruiter has put you in touch with a company, do not contact their client directly.

Do not hassle your recruiters. It’s a bit like dating. Desperation is a turn-off. After the first interview with their client, it is ok to send your recruiter a quick email or text to say how it went, but no more. If there are 6 others being interviewed, understand that it could be another 2 weeks or so before a decision is made.

Empathise with your recruiter – they have tough targets and are working in a dramatically different market.

Do not expect ego-stroking. In better times, recruiters could spend more time boosting your confidence or helping you understand your strengths.

Be selective. Only use a recruiter if you think they’ll do a better job than you, otherwise manage it yourself.


At the end of the day, using a recruitment agency is just one of the ways to secure a new job. So how can you be your own recruiter?

Realise that it’s a numbers game. The more activity you create, the more contacts you make, the more success (and optimism) you’ll have.

Understand your value proposition. Just what is it that makes you a good hire?

Career planning is important to plot your route ahead. Set tough targets within your own ‘go to market’ strategy. How many CVs will you send out each week? How many new companies will you track via LinkedIn? How many relevant people will you connect with?

There is no point in selling ice to Eskimos, so research the marketplace well. Online career planning tools can teach you the best tips.

Find out where recruitment activity is happening. If one company is hiring, their competitors will potentially be doing the same.

Recruitment is cyclical. While one industry is doing badly, another may be picking up. Once a company has reached its recruitment targets, it will stop hiring. In a few months, that will change.

Change your CV as often as is necessary. It is a necessity to match as well as possible to each job description.

Empathise with the HR team within the company. Passionate and confident is good, needy or overpowering is not. provides a range of online career planning tools to help professionals who’ve been made redundant to find a new career. gives a competitive advantage over other jobseekers, helps break down the often daunting task of finding a new job and focus on the positive aspects of redundancy. It firstly offers career planning resources to assess skills, identify key strengths and areas for development and helps set objectives and goals. It then provides door-opening tools such as which scours 350,000 companies’ job sites; Mandis, the UK’s leading business intelligence provider; CareerSiteAdvisor to help understand the modern day job market; as well as advice to use technology and the Internet successfully, in the same way as employers and recruiters.

For more information, visit

Press enquiries, please contact Kay Phelps on phone + 44 7710 043244; T: + 44 1932 789524.


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