Whether you are a recent grad starting your first job search after graduation, or are a junior level professional looking to start fresh with a new company, finding ways to get your foot in the door with a new employer can be difficult without having the right connections. Fortunately, you don’t have to traverse today’s highly competitive job market alone, and young professionals should be aware of the benefits of working with a recruiter, and how it can complement their job search efforts.
Michael Vulcano, Account Manager of The Execu|Search Group’s Workforce Solutions division, regularly educates new grads and junior professionals in the Financial Services industry on the benefits of working with a recruiter to reach their career goals. “Many young professionals don’t realize that time is on their side, and their first job doesn’t have to be their dream job,” says Michael. “In fact, they have the opportunity to try different areas of specialization as they gain more experience, so I advise them to keep an open mind about their overall career path.”
If you’re navigating the financial services job market, here are the top 3 reasons why you should consider working with a recruiter:
1. Recruiters have direct communication with a wide range of companies
As a young professional, the old saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” holds true in the financial services industry. However, the good news is that recruiters often have preexisting relationships with a variety of employers, from small and mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
They can leverage these relationships to help you stand out in a sea of new grads. “To land an entry-level/junior-level position, it’s important to get your resume in the hands of the right person,” advises Michael. “A recruiter who has professional connections with hiring managers can accurately endorse your strengths and career goals to portray you as the best fit for the position.”
2. Recruiters use their industry knowledge to YOUR advantage
As a young professional relatively new to job searching in a competitive market, it’s hard to know the resume tricks or interview best practices you should (or shouldn’t) employ to be successful in your job search. For example, there are a number of job search blunders recent grads often commit that can hinder their chances of being hired for their first job. To increase your chances of landing a role you’re interested in, recruiters will use industry knowledge to tailor your resume and sell your skill set to employers to get you in the door for a first round interview. Once you land the interview, they’ll also be able to prep you on the types of questions to expect and the best points to emphasize in your responses.
“Specialized recruiters can also utilize their industry expertise to provide you with important market insight, from recommending certain in-demand roles you’d be a good fit for to prepping you with negotiating tips before interviews,” notes Michael. So, while it can be discouraging to apply to numerous jobs and never receive a call back on your own, your recruiter will rely on your strengths and career goals to recommend the types of roles that would be most appropriate for your skill set.
3. Recruiters recommend assignments that get your foot in the door
While graduating with a business-related degree (e.g., Finance, Economics, etc.) prepares you with the technical skills to thrive in the financial services industry, it can’t prepare you for how you will respond to working with different people and projects. Therefore, young professionals should be open to learning as much as you can during the early stages of your careers to ensure that when you finally decide on a long-term career path, it’s something you’re truly passionate about. One way to figure out the type of company or role that might be best for you is by pursuing temporary assignments.
“If you’re unsure of what specialty area within the financial services industry you’re most interested in, temporary employment is a great way to play the field,” highlights Michael. “This gives you the opportunity to measure how well you work within different capacities, as well as get a feel for different company cultures.” For example, while your assignment might entail working on the operations side of a bank, the projects you are exposed to could help you realize that you’re more interested in working in a front office setting. In addition, they can also help both you and the company assess whether or not the two parties will truly be a good long term match, and if all goes well your temporary position can evolve into a full-time opportunity!