AAT career coach: four ways to make the most of your recruiter

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Had a frustrating experience with a recruiter? Are they not returning your calls? We’ve all been there. AAT career coach, Aimee Bateman, offers her top four tips for getting the most out of the relationship. And she should know – she has been one for over a decade

Watch Aimee’s AAT career coach videos

Recruiters don’t always provoke happy thoughts in the minds of job seekers. I’ve hired them, trained them, managed them and been one myself for over a decade. Here are my tips on getting the most out of your recruiter relationships.

1. Understand how they work

Job seekers often don’t realise that the recruiter doesn’t work for them. They are not there to find you a job; they are there to find an employee for the company.

You do not pay them for their time; the hiring manager pays them if they successfully place someone who matches the brief. This may sound harsh, but like any relationship, you must understand the motivators of the other person in order for it to be a positive association.

2. Help them help you

Sometimes the hiring client wants to see you, sometimes they don’t and ultimately it is their decision, not the recruiters. On occasion a recruiter will have to work that little bit harder to promote you and the value that you could add.

You need to influence your recruiter and convince them of the benefits you bring and the value you can add to their clients. They need to really believe in you to really ‘sell’ you.

This can be done by emphasising your achievements, not just your duties. In other words, put the benefits, rather than the features. You can write them a list of companies that you would like to work for and the reasons why.

The most powerful way to do this is by handing over as many impressive references as you can get. Your recruiter can and will use all of this information to help differentiate you from the other candidates and secure you that last interview slot.

3. Be conscious of how they spend their time

One of the biggest frustrations that I hear about recruiters is that they don’t return calls. It’s a tough one because the nature of their job is to network and track down possible opportunities, so they are always on the phone.

Companies rarely just telephone recruiters to give them jobs to work on. Recruiters are often targeted on making a certain number of ‘canvass calls’ per day, especially during core business hours when their clients are in work.

Most agencies work approximately 08:00 to 18:00 so call them before 09:30 or after 16:00 when they are least likely to be on a ‘canvass call’.

4. Keep a diary

Dealing with multiple agencies can be a little messy and confusing at times, especially as recruiters often advertise their vacancies without telling you who the end employer is.

Even so, no recruiter wants to hear that you can’t remember the job you applied for, or you have applied for so many that you lost track. I understand this can happen, but it doesn’t always leave the best impression.

I recommend keeping a log of all the agencies, job titles that you apply for. You can record the dates, emails and phone calls that you make too. If you keep this in a paper diary, rather than on your phone, you can scan it if you have already answered the call.

Managing communications with various recruitment consultants can be difficult at times, but hopefully these tips with help you get those most out of your relationships.

Watch Aimee talk more about dealing with recruitment consultants on YouTube:

Watch more of Aimee’s AAT career coach videos

Visit Aimee Bateman’s website, Careercake.com

Aimee Bateman is a corporate recruiter turned careers champion and founder of Careercake.com.

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