TIPS FOR WORKING WITH AN AGENCY
1. Find an agency BEFORE you absolutely have to have a new job. The absolute worst time to make first contact with an agency when you've been fired, or that you quit and you need a new job right away!
2. Find an agency that specializes in your talents. (The Guild for instance specializes in Butlers, Household Managers and PA's).
3. Find an agency that you like to work with and that you trust. If an agency "bugs you" for any reason than find another one!
4. Don't be too quick to send your resume to an unknown but "smooth talking" recruiter... especially if you're still employed. Some recruiters are true professionals with high ethics and some are not. How would you like your resume to wind up on your current boss's desk next week?
5. Provide your agency with your current salary information and expectations. There are at least three people in this world that need to know your current salary: the IRS, your spouse, and your agency.
6. Don't put important facts in the cover letter you send to your agency. Cover letters tend to get lost in
the shuffle. Keep your cover letter short and specific.
7. Make it easy for your agency to get and read your resume. Don't assume that your agency has every possible technology in place to receive and read your resume. Web site resumes look great, but they are hard to read offline.
8. Agencies are usually NOT good vehicles to help you change careers. Employers use agencies to help them find private staff with a particularly well-honed skill set, and several years of practical experience in a particular field. Agencies are not very effective at helping you change careers.
9. Agencies recruit; career counselors counsel! Although part of the recruitment process often includes some career counseling, some resume "tuning", and some interview practice sessions, if you really need extensive career guidance you probably need a professional career counselor.
10. Agencies recruit; bus drivers drive busses! Some candidates seem to think agencies are bus drivers eagerly awaiting to collect "their ticket" (aka "their resume") and quickly move them along to their next "stop" (aka "a better paying job"). See Tip #1 for a better way to work with a recruiter!