Whether you’re looking for bank work or your next permanent nursing job, a good recruitment consultant can make all the difference. Recruiters know what’s happening with local employers and can tell you about potential opportunities, as well as the skills currently in most demand. So how do you make sure you’re top of the recruiter’s list? We reveal seven things that will help get you hired.
1. You are professional
If you’re going to meet a recruitment consultant in person, approach the appointment as if it were an interview. You’ll gain valuable experience, which will boost your confidence ready for the real thing, and you’ll make a favourable impression. Treating the meeting like an interview means researching the route and finding out about parking, so that you arrive feeling calm and confident, rather than late and flustered. ‘If you’ve been asked to bring your documents with you, make sure you have the original documentation to hand in a clean folder,’ advises Michael Smith, Operations Manager for Nursing at Medacs Healthcare.‘It shows you are keen and reliable, which are traits recruiters look for in candidates. And the obvious one – do make sure you get there in plenty of time.’
2. Your CV is clearly written
Recruiters are busy people and most will scan your CV in less than a minute. For this reason, it’s important that the most relevant information is easy to find. Rather than send a one-size-fits-all résumé, you should update your CV for each job.‘Go through your work history and think about how your previous experience relates to the role for which you are applying. For example, if the job is in an accident and emergency unit, every bit of experience you’ve had there previously – both good and bad – is valid,’ says Michael.Put your most relevant experience and skills near the top of your CV and consider using bullet points to make the page easier to scan. When you’re applying online, be sure to use keywords that a recruiter would search on when looking for nursing staff.
3. You know what you want
Before you speak with a recruitment consultant, decide what kinds of places you want to work, what roles you will consider, and the pay range you will accept. Michael says: ‘Your recruiter is there to understand your needs so they can find you your ideal job, so be specific and tell them what you are looking for in your next role.’If there are some non-negotiables, such as working hours or distance you will travel from home, be clear about that up front. Being vague and changing your requirements wastes time and effort and is unlikely to win you any favours from recruiters.
4. You’re flexible
When it comes to impressing recruiters, there are some qualities that are always in demand.
‘One of the key qualities recruitment managers will look for in candidates is flexibility,’ says Danielle Moore, Nursing Division Recruitment Manager at Clayton Recruitment.
‘You need to have the ability to step up in an emergency, and be glad to cover more shifts if there are staffing shortages. They will also look for candidates that show a real passion for the profession, and who are dedicated to a fulfilling career in the care sector.’
5. You have a specialist skill
Being a champion of a specific area of your work is also something employers look for, and will be of interest to recruiters, according to Danielle.
‘If you have experience advocating particular responsibilities, such as medication management, make sure you voice this during your application and interview stages,’ she says.
‘In fact, management is a key quality employers will look for in candidates, and many employers are keen to provide assistance if you are working towards a relevant management qualification or NVQ.’
6. You’re already DBS checked
With many employers currently facing dire staffing shortages, staff are needed to start on a relativity short time frame. If you’re able to start work immediately, you’re likely to be in demand.
‘You’ll be an even more attractive candidate if you have already undertaken the necessary checks. Having a transferable DBS check is a big bonus,’ says Danielle.
7. You have a solid CV
While having varied experience can be a plus, recruiters may be wary if you’ve swapped and changed jobs too much.
Danielle explains: ‘In such a tight labour market, employers may lean towards candidates with a degree of stability on their nursing CV, so if you have made lots of hops in recent years make sure you can justify each move.
‘Be prepared to describe what you have learnt from each role, and present your work history as a coherent story if possible, explaining how the varied experience makes you perfect for the job.’