Review of a successfull job hunting campaign

I went to 4 different job interviews the past couple of months, and finally landed a job.
Not a bad ratio under the circumstances.

Agents sent me to all 4 interviews. Not one was secured directly by myself with the employer.
So agents are important in IT in Toronto.

The big question when job searching, of course, is how can I get the interview?
Here is how I got to the 4 interviews that eventually led to obtaining a job.


Interview #1 – agent found my resume in their database
The agent found me in their database. Before posting a job description in order to get new resumes, agents search their internal database. They search their own collection of resumes, they ask colleagues within the agency, they search the whole database of that agency.
Lesson learnt: make sure your latest resume is in their database.

Interview #2 – agent found my resume on Workopolis
Yes, agents go there too, especially if the skill they’re looking for  is niche.
Lesson learnt: make sure your resume is searchable on Workopolis. This version of the resume should pay attention to hot skills, niche skills. Describe the skill as an acronym (e.g. AS/400) and in real words, too. The goal is to increase your chances to pop up in a keyword search an agent is performing on that website.

Interview #3 – an ex-colleague recommended me to his agent

The agents ask for references. They are sales people. They sell the service of intermediation. As with any other sales person in this world, they need to see lots of people. Smart agents always ask me for references. In this case, my colleague did the agent a service, free. He referred me and therefore the agent was spared the task of digging through hundreds of resumes of unknown people. Should this interview was successful and I was hired, my ex-colleague had brought good business to the agent, at no cost.

Lesson learnt: always keep in touch with your ex-colleagues. Always maintain the best relations possible while you are colleagues.

Interview #4 (the successful one) – an agent I met in person presented me to the account manager for their client

I met the agent at the beginning of my job search. We connected immediately. We liked each other. He submitted my resume to several account managers within his recruitment agency. Eventually he persuaded one of them to send me to an interview.

Agents compete against each other within the same recruitment agency. And then they compete against other agencies. When a job is presented in an agency meeting by the account manager (account manager = a person that represents the recruiter to one of their clients; e.g. all jobs available at CIBC are dealt within our agency by Mr. XYZ, account manager), the agent must work hard to present your profile as the best.

If an agent is not motivated to do this, you’ll never get an interview that way.

Lesson learnt: find as many agents as possible that like you. To do this, you must see them in person, and be likeable and professional.

** **

Ultimately, (in IT, in Toronto) recruiting agents are the ones to get you the job.

If  you want to understand how agents work, take a few minutes and listen to this series of interviews with IT recruiters in Toronto

GOOD LUCK with your job search!

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Photo credit: slushpup on Flickr. Thanks!


Leave a Comment

  1. one more tip

    – regarding workopolis, make sure you update your resume frequently (daily if you’re actively looking for a job). I’m not talking about content update. delete a word and add it back, or add a comma or a dot, so that workopolis registers a change/update.

    a recruiter told me that when an employer searches workopolis by keyword, for instance, the matching resumes <> are displayed first. so if 1,000 ppl in the database have your 3 most important skills, make sure you appear among the first in the list…

  2. I could’nt agree more.

    In particular with over 25 years spent in team building services to both public and private sector organisations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

    David R. Smith
    Trusted Project Managers

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