8 SUCCESSFUL STRATEGIES
FOR BREAKING INTO
The career opportunities available for both experienced and Trainee
level Recruiters today are just fantastic. As more and more companies
look to expand their teams, more and more opportunities are becoming
If you are looking to kick-start your career in recruitment there has
never been a better time BUT....and it's a really important BUT....how
you apply and prepare yourself will totally dictate whether you are
As a successful Rec2Rec Agency our Recruitment Consultants deal
with recruitment companies of all shapes and sizes every day. We also
work with Trainees and Graduates to help them break into recruitment
so we really do know what works when it comes to securing your first
role in recruitment.
Here are our top tips!
Matt launched his
year and now
to break into
make their first
career move as a
CAMBRIDGE | 01223 792190
LONDON | 0203 301 0789
#1 KNOW YOUR STUFF
Don't apply for a job before you have a clear understanding of what a career in
recruitment really means.
When applying for entry level roles, you are guaranteed to be asked about what you know
about the role, so be prepared! “Ermm, to be honest with you I’m not really sure…” is not
going to get you anywhere, and you’d be amazed how often this is the response given.
Go do your research and find out:
• What does the recruitment industry look like?
• What does a Recruitment Consultant do?
• What key qualities does a Recruitment Consultant need to be successful?
• What qualities do you possess that would make you a great Recruiter?
• Why do you want to be a Recruitment Consultant?
Don’t even think about applying for jobs in recruitment until you have researched and
prepared on this as these core messages must translate via your CV and set the tone for
CAMBRIDGE | 01223 792190
LONDON | 0203 301 0789
#2 BE PROACTIVE
Don’t just tick boxes on a job board, anybody can do
that! You're trying to demonstrate you could be a
Recruitment Consultant - so take control and call the
company recruiting, speak to the Hiring Manager and
tell them why you would like to be considered for the
role. Show them that you understand what a career in
recruitment entails and clearly articulate why you
would make a good Recruiter and ask them for the
I know this sounds a little ballsy and some of you may
feel intimidated but you will be much more successful
doing this than just applying via a job board. You are
clearly demonstrating several of the core qualities you
will need as a Recruiter and your potential new
employer will be impressed. You will have
An ability to do your research
Ability to communicate clearly on the telephone
Ability to promote yourself (just as you would a
client or candidate)
Ability to build rapport
How you can be proactive
Ability to close
#3 KNOW YOUR STUFF
I know this sounds basic but for goodness sake PREPARE for your interview! This
one should go without saying, but you’d be amazed by the number of people that
fail to prepare for the most basic questions. Obviously, you can never be prepared
for every question you are going to be asked, but you can be prepared for the
basics such as “why do you want to work in recruitment?” and “what do you like
about our company?”.
At the very least ensure you:
Practice explaining what you already understand about recruitment
Practice explaining why you think you would be a great Recruiter and why you
want to be one
Research the company you are meeting - What do they specialise in? What is
their size? How long have they been trading? Do they have a mission statement
- if so what is it?
Understand their market - look at their vacancies to gain an understanding of
the job titles and duties
Who are their competitors -Who else operates in their sector? Search for jobs -
Research the person you are meeting by reading their LinkedIn profile
#4 TAKE ADVICE
When you do get an interview you will sometimes be
asked to prepare some research - if this is the case make
sure you do it. Don't just do a google search - go deeper.
Prepare and practice talking about it as a subject matter.
If you can't explain it quite simply to someone not
involved in the process you haven't researched enough.
Ask them what they are looking for in your presentation
– they will often tell you the qualities & content they are
It goes without saying that you also:
• Wear a formal business suit
• Look tidy, well presented and professional
• Arrive on time or a little early
• Prepare for the journey in advance
• Give yourself enough time for travel and delays
No amount of preparation for your presentation is going
to compensate for arriving late or looking a mess!
#5 BE CONFIDENT
Whenever you interview as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant the
interview is looking for how you behave and imagining you in front of a
candidate or client.
Would you inspire confidence in other people?
Do you act confidently?
Can you handle questions and objections in a way that doesn't
reduce you to a stuttering mess?
Look for ways to build rapport with your interviewer, mirror their
speech and body language.
#6 LESS IS MORE
Don't just apply for everything out there.
Make SPECIFIC applications and tailor your CV, introduction and phone
call to suit that individual company.
Trust me, as a Recruiter that receives hundreds of applications every
week it takes less than a couple of seconds to see if somebody has
specifically applied for the job you are advertising, or if they have
spammed the same application to as many jobs as possible.
The ones that stand out are those that detail why they want that specific
job, why they want to be considered by that specific company and why
they are interested in the role.
Stand out from the crowd and tailor your approach just as a Recruitment
#7 BE YOU
Of course you need to "sell yourself" in interview
but you also have to be YOU!
If you're not then you run a good chance of joining
the wrong firm.
Show your real personality, relax and engage with
the person interviewing you - you are interviewing
Break the ice, look for common ground with your
interviewer and let them see who you really are.
If you get on really well your chances of a being
successful will dramatically increase - everyone
wants to work with people they actually like!
#8 ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Before you leave each interview make sure you ask for feedback.
Usually your interviewer will wrap the interview up by asking if you
have any questions. Don't think for a minute that they are not still
assessing you! They will be interested to know what you ask, so
make sure you ask some good questions but also gain feedback on
your interview performance. Some good questions would be:
• How would you describe the office culture?
• How you would describe the management style of the
• Who is your most successful Consultant and what makes them
• Could you see me being part of your team?
• What concerns would you have about me?
• What advice would you give me for further interviews?
Cambridge | 01223 792190
London | 0203 301 0789
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