Dealing With Recruitment Consultants

By Graeme Jordan (CV Writer / Interview Coach / professional Marketer)

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The UK, like many other countries has lots of recruitment businesses and recruitment consultants. Depending on your viewpoint, they can either guard the door to thousands of opportunities, or hold the key to these opportunities. Either way, it is likely you will have to deal with them at some stage in your career.

So, how can you make sure the relationship is going to benefit the both of you? You’ll be pleased to hear it’s not actually too difficult. It relies on the professional skills you already claim to possess!

Below is a quick breakdown of the main principles. Follow these, and you won’t go far wrong.

  1. Honesty - tell them what you do and don’t want, so that they can recommend you to the right client. Remember, if you then change your mind after the recommendation has been made, it makes the recruiter look bad and could cost them the client. This means nobody benefits.

A good consultant will still call you after you have turned down a job that wasn’t right for you. Saying ‘no’ saves them time so that they can concentrate on looking elsewhere, filling the positon with someone more suited. It also means they have more time to find you the right job.

The key ingredient for all of this to run smoothly is effective two way communication. Well, c’mon, it can’t always be easy!

  1. Stick to your word. If you tell the recruiter you will send them your CV by Tuesday afternoon, make sure you do, as they might have promised it to a client the next day. If you do not send it to them, this will reflect negatively on the recruiter. Always take into account that their reputation is all they have to trade on.
  2. Treat them the same as you would the employer. The bottom line is they have been chosen to represent the employer; meaning that the employer is depending upon their judgement. Therefore, it’s good sense to treat them with respect.

I remember an occasion when I spoke to a candidate who told me he wouldn’t dress smartly to see me, but he would for the employer. Unfortunately, this candidate never got the chance.

  1. NEVER play recruiters off against each other. This may not be a one-time relationship, and you may find yourself needing their help again.

Of course, there are certain things you expect in return from the consultants. The only jobs they should be recommending are ones that are suited to you, and they should always do as they promise. They should never expect too much from you or be annoyed if you decide to take a job that is not with them.


Graeme Jordan is a CV Writer and Interview Coach who helps candidates at all levels in a range of industries to get interviews and get selected. See more at

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