Careers: Job opportunity requires work

There are several ways of conducting an effective job search and working with a specialist recruitment consultant can be an excellent first step.

But it always baffles me why people would rather spend more time with the salesman at Dixons, buying the latest surround-sound system, than an hour with their recruitment consultant who has the ability to determine the future of their career.

Investing time with a recruitment consultant can lead to a bright future, but before you start out, it is worth understanding how to manage your consultant to ensure they are doing their utmost to secure that job of your dreams.

In the first instance, both parties must set expectations from the outset.

Ask your consultant what their expectations are of you. If they don’t regard you as focused or committed, then you can’t expect them to try for you – just as you wouldn’t have faith in a colleague who was only half-heartedly interested in their job.

Once it’s clear that you’re serious, you must develop a relationship and constantly communicate, but do be realistic. If it’s long-term career prospects you’re interested in, you should stop asking about the job itself, and start enquiring about the organisation and what potential it holds for you.

Beware of consultants who only sell you the ‘job’ – they are working for a bonus. Those who put the role into the context of what it means to you in the long run are a far better bet.Be sure to ask questions about the organisation – whether your consultant doesn’t know, see if someone else on the team does.

Finally, prior to any job interviews, ensure your consultant provides you with good background information, not only on the company, but also the interviewer. A consultant will often meet the recruiter and can tell you about the internal working environment, the department and the manager themselves – it’s all invaluable preparation material.

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