….today’s lesson, gals and guys, will be to talk about the wrongstuff when you visit an employment agency.
First, though, please, a word about employment agencies from our point of view. We are here to help you find jobs, and to help our clients find the very best people to fill those jobs. We help our candidates, for free, with their resumes, with their interview techniques, with advice on how not to blow it. Candidates for their part should recognize that, friendly, helpful, and sometimes informal though we might be, we are still interviewing you, just as our clients do. You will be representing us to our clients, and we want you to make a favorable impression. So…… here are some pointers.
- If you are late for your appointment with us, please tell us why, just out of politeness. You wouldn’t be half an hour late for a job interview and not say anything, would you? The chances are we won’t mind, why would we, but we will mind the lack of courtesy.
- Don’t wear jeans and really casual wear to meet us — unless you’ve mentioned it first, of course, and had no choice.
- Don’t chew gum while you’re being interviewed by us. Similarly, don’t be producing a bottle of water and chugging as you talk, without first saying, “Hope you don’t mind. I’m dying of thirst here”.
- Bring an uncrumpled copy of your resume with you. If you can’t, and you’ve said, “The printer was broken”, that’s fine. Not bringing one, or having a tatty copy, without comment, is not good form.
- “I’ll need an extra $20,000 to work in Manhattan.” Sigh. If you think this is a reasonable statement, you’ll have to have a Pulitzer Prize-worthy reasoning behind it. Haven’t heard one yet, but I’m always ready to listen.
- “I didn’t go to college to be an admin” – when that statement is uttered, it’s usually with a fair degree of contempt and it’s the contempt that won’t get you far. If you don’t want to do any administrative work, that’s more than fine, but administrative support is not a career for non-graduates. It’s a career for people who want it to be their career. Most clients (rightly or wrongly) actually like administrative staff to have a degree, (sometimes two degrees, for goodness sakes). It’s a career for people with a particular set of skills, and a support-staff mentality.
- “Oh, I’m not prepared to do any data entry.” “Oh, I’m not doing any personal work. I’m not getting coffee for anyone.”…..same argument as bullet point above. But we all have what we consider grunt work in our jobs and, remember, you make coffee for yourself at home for free, so what’s wrong with being paid to do it for your manager? No-one (we hope!) is going to make you do stuff you refuse to do. But be aware of the manner in which you tell an agency what you want/don’t want. Rigid and dismissive with us will have us worrying that you’d be rigid and dismissive at the job. Not good.
That was a bit of a lecture, and I’m relieved to say it doesn’t apply to most of the people who walk through our doors. Basically, all I’m saying is that although we are going to be less formal than an actual job interview, and you can open up your hearts to us and trust us with the information, there is still a level of ground rules out there that will help you bond with us, so that we can help you find the best job for you…..