With competition for vacancies so fierce, on-the-ball recruiters can be a huge advantage when it comes to narrowing down your job search. They will often be aware of potential opportunities, and can give you advice on current employment trends or companies where they feel your skills and qualifications might match up.

When applying for various jobs, you will find yourself either applying directly to the company or through a recruitment agency. More companies than ever have turned to using recruiters as they strive to find the most skilled and talented candidate to fill the role. As a result it can be beneficial to know how best to work with them.

Be clear about your situation

It is important to make sure the recruiter is aware of where you are currently in your career, what your desired next step would be and what type of company you are interested in. This is when working with a specialist recruiter can really pay off.

Recruiters will be aware of employment market trends and may be building a line of talent ready if the right type of position became available, so make sure you are certain about your goals and are not changing your mind, that way you will stay on their good side and might be at the front of the queue.

Protect your own interests

Although a recruiter’s primary objective is to find the most suitable candidate for their client, you can avoid any potentially embarrassing situations by insisting on being told before they send your CV to various companies.

Ask your recruiter who their contact is within the company, as you can then take steps to ensure there is a relationship and that they have a directive to recruit for the position. This should mean you have a much better chance with your application.

Be open to help

An experienced recruiter can also be a source of advice on your CV, application process and strategy for interviews. Those with a strong relationship with the client will be able to provide you with useful information about what to expect.

Even if you are not successful after an interview, ask for feedback as your recruiter may be in touch with the hiring manager and could ask for ways in which you can improve your future applications or interviewing skills.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started