Applying for your very first job straight after leaving school, college or university can seem like a difficult task, but recruitment agencies can help with the process.
Many job advertisements say they are looking for people with some level of experience, but if you’ve never had a job before then you aren’t going to have much, if any. It’s feels like a vicious circle – if no one gives you a job then you won’t have any experience, but if you haven’t got any experience then no one will give you a job.
Don’t be put off. Yes, lack of experience is a hurdle, but it’s only a minor one. Prospective employers will know from looking at your CV that you won’t have all the experience and skills they are looking for, and they will bear this in mind.
Get recruitment agencies to help you
A good way to cut through some of the red tape and uncertainty of job hunting is to use recruitment agencies to help you find the kind of work you are after.
Many companies still use recruitment agencies to advertise their jobs for them and select suitable candidates for interview. This makes signing up with recruitment agencies a very good idea – particularly if you want to work in a specific industry, such as engineering – because they do the job searching for you. You can find loads of recruitment agencies online, and even in your local high street.
How they work
In a nutshell, the process works something like this: you send the recruitment agency your CV, or take it in yourself so they can meet you and find out a bit more about you and the kind of work you are looking for. When they have a job they think would suit your skills and experience they will put you forward for it, and if the company likes the sound of you they will invite you for interview.
After that, the recruitment agency will let you know if you’ve been successful or not, and this process usually only takes a few days, depending on how many other candidates are being interviewed.
When to chase?
If more than two weeks have passed since your interview but you still haven’t heard whether you’ve got the job or not, don’t be afraid to get in touch with the recruitment agency to find out. A polite telephone call or email to your contact at the agency asking about the progress of your application is usually the best way to do it.
If you have got the job then the agency will usually sort out the paperwork to do with contracts and start dates and all that kind of thing for you, and if you haven’t got the job then they will also be able to give you feedback about why your application was unsuccessful, which can be very useful.
The important thing to remember is that you should never be asked to pay for this kind of service. The recruitment agency makes their money by being paid by the company which is advertising the job, when they find them a candidate who fits the bill. If you are ever asked to pay then refuse immediately and have nothing more to do with the organisation, as it is probably a scam.
Good luck, and happy job hunting!