How to enter the Cyberspace Recruitment Market: Tips for Candidates
Recruitment websites can be confusing, strange places to the inexperienced. If you are not sure, select an established agency with a name you recognise. Follow the link to their website and find a contact name. Email or phone them to ask for advice. If the website doesn’t give you information about their recruiters, maybe it is best to give them a miss.
Using the internet is supposed to be speedy and convenient. However, a common complaint we hear is that sending off a CV to some recruitment databases is like depositing it into a black hole. Nothing comes back out.
Don’t despair, you have a voice and a dialling finger; there is nothing like making a personal impression in this age of electronic communication. Use those ‘interpersonal skills’ you have noted that you have in abundance in your personal profile.
When you have made your decision about where to submit your CV, it is useful to the recipient if you send a covering email. Explain your objectives and whether you can relocate, or not. Give some indication of your ideal job and your salary expectations. A thumbnail overview of you is helpful.
Please remember that a lot of recruiters are ‘old school’ and modern text language is not a hit with everyone. Play safe; remember the rules of grammar. Use upper case ‘I’. Start your sentences with a capital letter and end with a full stop. Write in sensible paragraphs. Check your spelling. (I really don’t wish to patronise, but if you could see some of the applications we receive…..)
A well written, nicely laid out CV and email is one that draws the recruiter’s attention.
To all of you jobseekers, new to using agencies, don’t be persuaded by any agency to give them ‘carte blanche’ to distribute your CV to their clients. The resulting scattergun effect is not impressive. Our clients, the HR departments of CROs and Pharmaceutical companies alike, simply don’t like it. Plus, you can inadvertently look desperate.
We have discovered that some of our candidates don’t necessarily understand the nuances of the pharmaceutical recruitment industry in the UK. It does not go down well to talk to a recruiter for 40 minutes about a particular job with a particular client and to give your permission to have your CV sent to that client when you know full well another agency has already submitted your details! This does not improve your chances of being considered for the job.
The way through the maze is simple. Keep control of your CV; make sure you feel happy with the agency you have selected to represent you. If you are not, you should be able to withdraw your details from their database on request.
If you are selected for an initial telephone screening with an agency do prepare for it. Choose a time when you know you can be in a quiet place (undisturbed by boss, children, pneumatic drills etc.) and on a phone line with good reception. Allow at least 40 minutes. Don’t keep the recruiter waiting, and please don’t arrange an interview, then pop out to lunch and forget about it! It is not good for our self-esteem.
Continue to manage the agency you choose - you don’t have to play a passive role. Make sure you know where they are sending your details. You should always be provided with the name of the company, details of the working environment, the job title and tasks involved, together with the qualifications and experience the client is asking for. In addition, it is usual to have a full job spec that can be emailed to you; although I appreciate some clients don’t always have these to hand. Then, keep a list of where and when your details have been sent, and, by whom.
Do use the expertise and industry knowledge that the recruiter will have - ask us questions. If you feel that the agencies you are dealing with are overly aggressive, repeatedly suggest inappropriate jobs and push you into making quick decisions – simply ask them not to contact you again. An ethical and professional agency will not employ those tactics.
We hope you have an enjoyable and rewarding recruitment experience - good luck everybody!