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Working With a Staffing Firm: What You Should Know

You just submitted your resume to a staffing firm or clicked a button to submit an application online. Now it’s time to sit back and watch the opportunities roll in, right? Not quite. While staffing agencies want nothing more than to put you to work, getting their attention and securing the best opportunities requires some ingenuity and effort.

What it comes down to is this: You need to be smart and strategic. When you apply for a job with a staffing agency, you’re competing against hundreds of other applicants. To increase your chances for success:

  • Find staffing firms that specialize in your area of interest. Whether you’re in a technical field, sales, light industrial, administrative or another area, do your research to find out which local staffing firms focus on those same fields.
  • Consider applying with 3-4 agencies. Don’t go “all in” on just one.
  • Do your legwork when it comes to identifying the opportunities that best match your skills and qualifications. Don’t leave it to the staffing firm to figure it out for you.
  • Never submit a resume that includes grammatical or spelling errors. There’s an assumption staffing firms are more forgiving than other employers but, especially in today’s competitive job market, that is far from the truth.
  • Show you care! Add a cover letter or even a personal note explaining who you are, where your passions lie and why you would be a great addition to the staffing firm’s roster.
  • Don’t expect the staffing firm to be your jumping off point during a career change. Employers expect staffing firms to find the most qualified matches for their jobs. If you’re in the midst of a career change consider using classes, volunteering, certifications and other opportunities to get up-to-speed quickly.

Finally—and, perhaps, most importantly—if you feel entitled, change your attitude. This is a true sticking point for staffing firms. Too often job candidates walk in the door with the attitude the staffing firm must woo them. But understand this: Staffing agencies do the legwork for—and are paid by—the employers who use them. It is the employer (the staffing firm’s client) who calls the shots. You—as the job candidate—can be part of the solution, if you’re professional and your skills and qualifications match what the employers want. Impress the staffing firm and your chances for success will increase. Make a bad impression with the staffing firm or show unprofessionalism throughout the relationship, and the amount of jobs you’ll be offered will dwindle.

That doesn’t mean your staffing firm isn’t your cheerleader. And it doesn’t mean you can’t have a comfortable relationship with your recruiter. However, it’s important to understand your professionalism is a direct reflection on the professionalism of the staffing agency. If your recruiter isn’t confident you’ll represent the staffing firm well, he or she will not want to send you out on a job.

 

Do you have any other questions about working with a staffing agency? Ask us! We’re here to help.

 

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