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Managing your reputation as a candidate

by Derek Del Simone on February 18, 2014
View Derek's LinkedIn profile here

You have made the decision to leave your current employer; and the job search looks daunting trying to work out the right role for you and which company has the right environment and culture for you. Do you apply direct, or through an agency? Then which agency do you choose to work with? There are so many choices, and with a quick google search for Healthcare jobs in Australia, you have a plethora of options of recruiters and companies advertising directly. But what is best for you?
As a candidate you need to protect your personal brand. You have worked hard to build your career and reputation as an industry specialist and it is important that you ensure that your candidacy is represented to market in the best possible way.
Professional sports people or actors or singers have agents, who look after them to ensure they have the best possible deal, so why shouldn’t you? A specialist recruiter who takes the time to know you can give you the best opportunities in the market and open doors that sometime seem closed. Here are some key points that all candidates must consider when thinking about when coming to market for a new role.
1. Use a Specialist Agency – Using a boutique specialist agency / recruiter who has a proven history in recruitment in your field, will ensure they have the right connections to help you secure a new role. This will also ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of the companies, the work environments and the management team so they can give you a good overview; warts and all on each job and company. A specialist recruiter will have direct access to the hiring manager and have built a relationship, where they can call them and discuss your skills and why you would be great for the role or the company.

Do your research on the agency and the recruiter. Word of mouth referral or even LinkedIn is a great way to check on the agency / person representing you.

2. Control who has your resume – Sending your resume to every man and his dog creates confusion and you run the risk that unethical recruiters will send your resume out without your permission. Only YOU can control who has your resume and who has the authority to send it to a hiring manager.

An Agency who complies with Privacy Regulations should always seek your permission before they send your resume. Recruitment firms and companies run on a basis of first referral, if a company submits your resume for a role they have ownership over your candidacy for 12 months. There are many unethical recruiters who will spam your resume everywhere just to try and get a fee. Having your resume spammed to the market, only damages your reputation. Nor does it help you cause, the recruiter is not speaking to the client directly and selling your experience to them. A client who receives your resume from multiple sources can only question your organisational skills and ability to set directions and delegating tasks.

If you have given permission to an Agency to send your resume, then don’t give permission to someone else to send it, at the end of the day it only hinders you and reflects badly on you.

3. Be Honest and Open – Specialist Recruiters are there to help you find that right role. It is wasting your time, their time and the hiring manager’s time if you are not having open and honest conversations. If an agency has represented you or you are in conversations directly with an organisation, be upfront and open about it, and tell the agency you have already been represented.

When someone speaks to you about a role cross check your notes and make sure your resume has not been sent, and if it has in the past and you have interviewed previously with the hiring company, let the recruiter know so they can address it with the hiring manager if required.

4. Guidance on your resume and interview process – An experienced recruitment consultant can always provide you with the right structure and guidance on what information to include on your resume. They should guide you in insuring that your skills are highlight. Your resume is your marketing brochure of your career and why the hiring manager should employ you.

A specialist recruiter should know the hiring manager and hiring company interview process and will be able to guide you and prepare you for interviews, so you can put your best foot forward.
Using a specialist recruitment firm and recruiter who has a proven track record in the market can only help you secure that right next role. Only you can control your job search and where your personal / career information is being sent.
I always suggest partnering with 1 or 2 specialist firms is in your best interest. Not every agency or recruiter works for everyone, you should be able to have an open conversation with your recruiter and work out who they work for and who they can speak to for you on your behalf. You will find that partnering exclusively with a recruiter will give you a better result and it will also save you time.
Remember the most important thing is control who has your details and where they are sending it, it’s your right and only you can do it. Sending your resume to a company through multiple means looks bad on you.

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