We've all been unemployed. Many of us have been unemployed more than once. And, in our search for a new job, we've all experienced rejection. We've all gotten our hopes up only to hear "I'm sorry, that position has been filled". Or worse, we apply but never hear back from the job poster. This process is wildly unnerving, I know. The key is to manage your expectations and frustration. And, above all else, remain positive.
I'll let you in on a little secret. Recruiters are a fantastic solution to your job search. As a matter of fact, many companies rely exclusively on recruiting agencies to help them fill their vacant roles. The reason - it is simply more cost effective for a company to use an agency than it is for them to hire an internal person to place ads, host job fairs and conduct preliminary interviews; all things required to vet the large number of candidates who will apply for the one or two roles that are available. Here's the catch - you must find the right recruiting agency to partner with! Recruiters have a broad network of open roles and the 'inside scoop' on what the employer is looking for. Here are a few pointers to help you find the right recruiting partner...
Ask Your Friends for Placement Agency Referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful and effective way to learn which agencies are honestly and genuinely interested in helping you find a successful career match. While you might have had all sorts of past experiences with placement agencies, there are some with really great reputations and a genuine willingness to do whatever they can to meet both your needs and those of their business client.
Check Out Google, Twitter, Facebook & Yelp Reviews. While no agency will be perfect and every company will get negative reviews now and then, you'll want to do all you can to discover if the agency treats its candidates with respect. After all, you are more than a person, you are a revenue source for the agency. You should be treated with care and continued contact whether you are a receptionist looking for work or a Vice President seeking a career change!
Know What You Want From Your Next Job. No recruiter in the world can successfully find you a career match if you yourself are unclear about what it is you want to do professionally. I've met with hundreds of people looking for a new or better job. Often, they aren't really sure what they want to do. They only know that they're unhappy in their current role. My solution has been to take the time to develop a relationship with the candidate and help them to discover their aptitudes and more importantly, their professional passion. This is the first step in finding a successful career match. I do this before administering a skills test or help them to clarify their resume. For a recruiter, adding a candidate to the roster who is not really ready to make a move is a premature step. So, if you are unsure of what it is that you want to do, or if you're not really ready to change jobs, your placement agency will be operating at a deficit. But make no mistake, a good agency absolutely can help you.
Trust Your Gut. If you are working with a placement agency and you feel something is wrong, then it probably is. Don't be afraid to hit 'eject' and select another agency to work with. There are quite a few good ones out there!
If you need help determining the right professional road to travel, you may consider hiring a career coach. It's a good investment in yourself; and what better to invest in than you?! Some agencies honestly strive to help their candidates with this process. Actually, many of them do. You just have to be ready to do a little self reflection and professional growth!