Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

7 Tips for Winning Over a Recruitment Consultant.

By James Ball | Mar 1, 2016 | Candidate Tips

a recruitment consultant hugging a candidate lovinglyRecruitment consultants get a pretty bad press.

But the truth is, like any other profession, you’ve got your good eggs and your bad eggs (who ruin it for everyone else).

As a jobseeker, a recruitment consultant should be your best friend…

  • They’ll work extremely hard to find you the perfect job (it’s in their interests too).
  • They’ll offer you more resources, connections and will actively seek opportunities for you.
  • They’ll fight your corner and persuade clients that you’re the person for the job.

But, you do have to impress them in the first place! Here’s how… (We really don’t ask for much)!

1. Communicate.

Seriously – you would be shocked by how many candidates apply for jobs and then don’t pick up the phone when we call them about the vacancy.

Unfortunately, there’s only so much chasing recruiters can and will do before they give up and move on to the next candidate.

And either way, it doesn’t leave a great lasting impression – you just don’t seem bothered.

Recruiter Pro Tip

I recommend getting back to consultants within 24 hours of their contact with you.

They’re well aware that you could be busy at work and uncontactable during the day, so most consultants will pick up out-of-working hours too.

And you can always pop over a quick email explanation.

Many of our clients are looking to fill their vacancies ASAP so if there are other, contactable, great candidates out there, who do you think recruiters are going to champion?

2. Sell yourself.

At the end of the day, the recruitment consultant’s job is to sell YOU.

How are they supposed to do that if you can’t even sell yourself?

Make sure your CV is compelling, up-to-scratch, relevant and personalised (if the vacancy is confidential, focus on the role and/or industry) – it’s about showing that you are an “easy sell.”

Often, recruitment consultants receive inadequate, unfinished, incorrect and completely irrelevant CVs that candidates assume they will ‘fix’ before sending them on to a client.

That’s fine, up to a point. But if they’ve received 99 other fantastic CVs – why bother?

To find out how to properly sell yourself with a fantastic personal USP, click here.

3. Be specific.

(Most) recruiters are extremely busy, all the time.

That’s why they like direct answers, CVs and general communication from you.

Wishy-washy statements and waffle that we need to translate for ourselves will slow down the entire recruitment process and can unconsciously put us off.

We’d much prefer that you were direct (and honest) with us.

4. Be honest.

Look I know, everybody tells lies and/or exaggerates to recruiters.

And most consultants are ok with a slight exaggeration of your skills, embellishment of your knowledge and experience and even a small stretch of your employment dates.

But there is a line and if you cross it, you can definitely expect to be blacklisted.

For example, withholding a criminal record, fabricating a degree, falsifying a reference.

Recruiter Pro Tip

Just a quick head’s up, because we’re talking about honesty…

  • Never, pay a recruitment agency to find you a job. It is unlawful. The only exception would be in the modelling/entertainment sector where they actively promote you.
  • Some cowboy consultancies will advertise ‘fake’ job adverts to attract candidates for future vacancies. Look out for this, it’s pretty shady and you may not want to work with them.

There’s simply no point being dishonest; they’ll find out. (Good consultants always do).

5. Stand out, but not too much.

Can you imagine how many CVs a recruitment consultant receives every day?

Don’t let yours slip through our fingers… generic clichés, long drawn-out sentences and paragraphs certainly won’t help. Click here to find out how to write a compelling CV that will impress.

On the other hand, you don’t need to go overly ‘creative’ either, sometimes, it’s a breath of fresh air to have a special cover letter and/or snazzy stunt to go with your application, but it’s definitely not essential.

A structured, direct, targeted, well-written and non-predictable CV is all you need to WOW us, seriously.

6. Don’t let them down.

There’s nothing more frustrating than putting your time, effort and heart into securing a great candidate an interview, but then getting let down at the last moment, due to something silly like…

  • Scruffy dress.
  • Lack of preparation.
  • Lateness.

These totally avoidable interview faux pas will probably get you blacklisted.

It makes you come across lazy, disinterested and to be honest, a little ungrateful for the opportunity.

7. Don’t accept that counter-offer.

The biggest bane of the entire recruitment process is the dreaded counter-offer.

Before you accept, it’s important to remember the reasons you were leaving in the first place…

  • If it does just come to money, then fair play.
  • If there are other reasons, you really should weigh them up.

I’ve known so many candidates who accepted a counter-offer and then months later were back on the job market – either because they weren’t happy, or because their employers realised they didn’t want to be there and therefore pushed them out.

As you can imagine, this scenario is highly frustrating for a recruitment consultant and unfortunately, you will find that many will be wary about working with you again in the future.


At Coburg Banks, we’ve built some fantastic long-term relationships with our candidates and have helped to place some of them on more than one occasion.

At the end of the day, a good recruitment consultant will want what’s best for you, their client and in turn of course, themselves!

If you’d like to read more top tips on how to find your dream job quickly and efficiently, click here to subscribe to this blog.

Or, feel free to check out our live vacancies and get in touch.

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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