Sarah Hurley Excel Recruitment Retail Head Office Recruitment

How to work with your Recruiter to find your dream job


As a jobseeker, there can be certain factors to consider when using a recruitment company to help with your job search. Senior Consultant Sarah Hurley, explains how to get the best results whilst working with your recruitment consultant and what to expect throughout the process.

There can be misconceptions about working with your recruitment consultant and how agencies work. As Recruiters, our responsibility is two-fold. We align our candidate’s experience with our client’s requirements. As a Recruiter, our purpose is to join the dots between the candidate and the company, carefully matching the applicant’s skillset with what the client is looking for. Throughout my buying career, I had mixed experiences with recruiters (both here and in London) and now I’m on the other side, I can hopefully clarify the process and offer some tips to help you make the most of working with your Recruiter and hopefully find your dream job:

Research the Agency and Recruiter

Are they advertising roles in your industry? Are they a specialist agency? Who are their clients? When approaching an agency, you want a Recruiter who already has an understanding of what you do and what your next steps might be. This way you won’t have to waste time explaining the basics. Working with your recruitment consultant who has an in-depth knowledge of the industry and close relationships within it, should know which employers will suit you best, both career and company culture-wise.

Have an up-to-date and concise CV

I screen CVs quickly so it’s best to keep it focused and to the point (2 pages is ideal). You can always elaborate on your experience at interview stage. I often scroll through 3+ pages of a CV and still don’t know what candidates do! Be sure to include the correct dates, and if there are gaps, it’s no problem but do add a line explaining why. Taking time out for travel, kids, looking after a family member etc. is completely fine and can even be of an advantage to you and your potential employer – just don’t try and hide it!

Be realistic

Recruiters help match you with roles that you are qualified for and suited to within their clients’ business. As Recruiters, we advocate for improved salaries, packages and titles etc. on your behalf but you will need to have realistic expectations. Recruiters are tasked with finding the person that most closely fulfils their client’s wishlist and are rarely given the freedom to deviate from this. If you are looking to move into a completely new industry or don’t have the experience for the job you are applying to, there is probably little a Recruiter can do for you. If you’re looking for a €10k+ salary bump but the budget is only €5k more than you are currently on, or if you want the client to match your 30+ days of annual leave when their company policy is 25, you will need to manage your expectations and decide what you can and cannot be flexible on

Trust your Recruiter

Following on from this, as a Recruiter, we will work to get you the best package possible but if we think you are jeopardising your application by being unrealistic, we will tell you. It is a balancing act between getting the candidate what they are worth and also supporting the client’s brief and budget. As Recruiters, we always look for mutually beneficial outcomes for both parties. Clients will try to meet requests where they can, so trust your Recruiter’s expertise when they say a client has hit a ceiling with regard to the package.

Be honest and ask questions

Your relationship with your Recruiter should be a collaborative one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as, where your experience or salary sit in the market and what aspects of your CV or the interview you need help with. Be honest with your Consultant about any requirements you have, even if you think it’s minor. If you need flexibility around working hours for the first month of your new job (you could be finishing a course, your child minder could be away etc.) for example, tell your Recruiter at the application stage, so we can manage this on your behalf. That is just one of the advantages of using a Recruiter. They are able to relay your requirements to the client whilst at the same time, maintaining your value as a candidate. Confidentiality between the Recruiter and the candidate is paramount so don’t be concerned about being open regarding potential issues you may have.

Barry Whelan, CEO Excel Recruitment


New Year, New Career? If you’ve decided 2018 is the year you find your dream job, CEO of Excel Recruitment Barry Whelan shares his top tips on starting your search…

2017 was a great year for jobseekers and with unemployment currently standing at 6.1%, 2018 is shaping up to be even better with a strong job market, salaries on the increase and companies looking to employ. We are already out the door here in Excel Recruitment and if landing a great new job tops your wish list this year, there’s a good chance your wish will come true. Job hunting is always tough, but with a little effort you can really increase your chances of landing a great job,

Upgrade your LinkedIn Profile.

LinkedIn is simply your CV on social media. Potential employers are going to look you up on this platform. Build your profile professionally. Use Keywords that recruiters will search for and make sure your job title is not too bespoke or obscure and for the love of god, DON’T use a Selfie as your profile picture. Selfies are generally unflattering and unprofessional. All retailers know we buy with our eyes when it comes to product, well it’s the same with people. Get a professional headshot done.

Engage with a great recruiter.

Ask your friends and colleagues who they used, who they would recommend and get on that recruiter’s radar (Or save yourself some time and just click here to find the best recruiters in the biz.) Pop them a speculative CV and ask for a quick chat. Whilst they may not have your dream job now, they may in the future.

Upgrade your profile

Promote yourself as a knowledge leader in your industry. Join Trade associations, Volunteer to speak on Panels, Blog something of interest, and create a record of expertise for yourself.

Streamline your CV

Your CV a tool you use to get an interview. Make it a sledgehammer! Streamline your CV to really highlight your best achievements and the career success you have enjoyed, don’t overkill with lengthy cover notes or crazy detail. It is just the tool to raise interest in someone meeting you. The detail will come in the interview.

Erase your soft skills…and irrelevant experience

To streamline your CV just delete your soft skills and early career. If you are 10 years or more into your career, work in the corner shop or winning the all-Ireland ping pong championship when you were 12 is just taking up valuable space. Delete hobbies unless they are relevant to your job. Nobody cares!

Highlight your tech ability

We live in the world of technology, regardless of our job or industry. Make sure both on your CV and on LinkedIn you highlight every tech system, package and product you have ever had the pleasure of using. Microsoft this and that all the way to SAP, name check them all

Don’t follow the money

Nobody really likes greed, no matter how healthy the economy might be. Besides, a great job, short commute, route to progression and good Work/Life balance can go a long way to happiness in a job that money alone can’t offer. Don’t chase the Euro or at least, don’t come across as obsessed by money.

Know your Value

Research the market value of the position you are going for and pitch yourself accordingly, don’t frighten a new employer off by pitching yourself too high or indeed, undervalue yourself.

Good luck in your job hunt and be sure to check out our current live jobs to kick-start your search!