The career opportunities available for both experienced and Trainee level Recruiters today are just fantastic. As more and more companies look to expand their teams, more and more opportunities are becoming available.
If you are looking to kick-start your career in recruitment there has never been a better time BUT....and it's a really important BUT....how you apply and prepare yourself will totally dictate whether you are successful!
As a successful Rec2Rec Agency our Recruitment Consultants deal with recruitment companies of all shapes and sizes every day. We also work with Trainees and Graduates to help them break into recruitment so we really do know what works when it comes to securing your first role in recruitment. Here are our top tips!
#1 KNOW YOUR STUFF
Don't apply for a job before you have a clear understanding of what a career in recruitment really means.When applying for entry level roles, you are guaranteed to be asked about what you know about the role, so be prepared! “Ermm, to be honest with you I’m not really sure…” is not going to get you anywhere, and you’d be amazed how often this is the response given. Go do your research and find out:
- What does the recruitment industry look like?
- What does a Recruitment Consultant do?
- What key qualities does a Recruitment Consultant need to be successful?
- What qualities do you possess that would make you a great Recruiter?
- Why do you want to be a Recruitment Consultant?
Don't even think about applying for jobs until you know this as it needs to translate via your CV and also in how you apply for your new role!
#2 BE PROACTIVE
Don’t just tick boxes on a job board anybody can do that! You're trying to demonstrate you could be a Recruitment Consultant - so take control and call the company recruiting, speak to the Hiring Manager and tell them why you would like to be considered for the role. Show them that you understand what a career in recruitment entails and clearly articulate why you would make a good Recruiter and ask them for the interview.
I know this sounds a little ballsy and some of you may feel intimidated but you will be much more successful doing this than just applying via a job board. You are clearly demonstrating several of the core qualities you will need as a Recruiter and your potential new employer will be impressed. You will have demonstrated:
- An ability to do your research
- Ability to communicate clearly on the telephone
- Ability to promote yourself (just as you would a client or candidate)
- Ability to build rapport
- How you can be proactive
- Ability to close
#3 FAIL TO PREPARE AND PREPARE TO FAIL
I know this sounds basic but for goodness sake PREPARE for your interview! This one should go without saying, but you’d be amazed by the number of people that fail to prepare for the most basic questions. Obviously, you can never be prepared for every question you are going to be asked, but you can be prepared for the basics such as “why do you want to work in recruitment?” and “what do you like about our company?”. At the very least ensure you:
- Practice explaining what you already understand about recruitment
- Practice explaining why you think you would be a great Recruiter and why you want to be one
- Research the company you are meeting - What do they specialise in? What is their size? How long have they been trading? Do they have a mission statement - if so what is it?
- Understand their market - look at their vacancies to gain an understanding of the job titles and duties
- Who are their competitors -Who else operates in their sector? Search for jobs - who appears?
- Research the person you are meeting by reading their LinkedIn profile
#4 TAKE ADVICE & LOOK FOR CLUES
When you do get an interview you will sometimes be asked to prepare some research - if this is the case make sure you do it. Don't just do a google search - go deeper. Prepare and practice talking about it as a subject matter. If you can't explain it quite simply to someone not involved in the process you haven't researched enough. Ask them what they are looking for in your presentation.
#5 CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING
Whenever you interview as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant the interview is looking for how you behave and imagining you in front of a candidate or client. Would you inspire confidence in other people? Do you act confidently? Can you handle questions and objections in a way that doesn't reduce you to a stuttering mess? Look for ways to build rapport with your interviewer, mirror their speech and body language.
#6 LESS IS MORE
Don't just apply for everything out there. Make SPECIFIC applications and tailor your CV, introduction and phone call to suit that individual company. Trust me, as a Recruiter that receives hundreds of applications every week it takes less than a couple of seconds to see if somebody has specifically applied for the job you are advertising, or if they have spammed the same application to as many jobs as possible. The ones that stand out are those that detail why they want that specific job, why they want to be considered by that specific company and why they are interested in the role. Stand out from the crowd and tailor your approach just as a Recruitment Consultant would!
#7 BE YOU
Of course you need to "sell yourself" in interview but you also have to be YOU! If you're not then you run a good chance of joining the wrong firm. Show your real personality, relax and engage with the person interviewing you - you are interviewing them too! Break the ice, look for common ground with your interviewer and let them see who you really are. If you get on really well your chances of a being successful will dramatically increase - everyone wants to work with people they actually like!
#8 ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Before you leave each interview make sure you ask for feedback. Usually your interviewer will wrap the interview up by asking if you have any questions. Don't think for a minute that they are not still assessing you! They will be interested to know what you ask, so make sure you ask some good questions but also gain feedback on your interview performance. Some good questions would be:
- How would you describe the office culture?
- How you would desribce the management style of the company?
- Who is your most successful Consultant and what makes them different?
- Could you see me being part of your team?
- What concerns would you have about me?
- What advice would you give me for further interviews?
So I wish you well with your career search! A career in recruitment is demanding, challenging, fun, rewarding, hard work and lucrative and last year I was in exactly the same position as you. So take my advice and if you are serious about a career in recruitment then get serious when it comes to the application and interview process. Take a look at some of our Trainee level roles in recruitment and when you get that lucky break come find me on LinkedIn and make me your first connection!