When looking for a new position, it can be tricky to know where to begin and a couple of questions immediately spring to mind; whether to use a recruitment agency and if so, which one to pick?

So, exactly what are the benefits of using a recruitment agency?

Overall, a good recruitment consultant can often make the make the difference between a successful and efficient job search and a lot of wasted effort.

1. Discussing your career plan and whether a move is right for you

The first step in the process would be for the recruitment consultant to find out what you enjoy doing and whether a move is right for you. It is easy to be affected by a particularly bad period of work and by exploring your reasons for looking elsewhere and asking searching questions the consultant can assist you in deciding whether you really want to move. Alternatively a chat with your manager or peers may be more beneficial as a first step. If you do decide the time is ripe for a move then they can again advise more generally on areas / roles or companies that would be suitable taking into account your preferences.

2. Research & knowledge of the vacancies

By knowing the market and what companies are actively recruiting and advertising vacancies at the current time, the amount of research that you personally have to do is drastically reduced. Also, many companies take on staff for vacancies which are not advertised very widely and in this instance, the recruitment consultant will know who is the best person to call to find out about such positions and will carry out this search for you.

3. CV writing guidance

The CV is the first tool in marketing yourself to a company and so it is crucial that is accurately brings out your skills, particularly transferable skills and strengths and targets the vacancies available. Having established which vacancies are available and matched up those with your preferences, the consultant can then provide detailed advice on putting together a CV.

4. Personal recommendations

Where a consultant has built up a good reputation with employers or via their own contacts then their personal recommendation will also help in gaining you an interview. This aspect can be enhanced where the consultant themselves is an actuary and hence has a certain level of credibility, as well as personally knowing a number of key decision makers. This is very important where a candidate is looking to move into a different discipline or does not quite have the right experience for the role in question.