Breaking the mold of job hunting

When you're 16, in high school and looking for your first job, “job hunting” probably looks a lot like walking around your local mall with a stack of resumes and handing them out to all the stores you love. When you're in college, it probably looks more like talking to the workstudy office. But what does job searching look like when you've got your diploma and are ready to break into the real world?

If you're fed up with trying to find your dream job by yourself, or you have no idea where to start, consider using an employment agency — sometimes known as recruiters or head hunters — as the services they offer can be invaluable.

Employment agencies, of which there are many right here in London, will generally post their available jobs on both career websites, such as Monster.ca, as well as on their own websites. Once you apply for a job posting, the agency will begin an extensive screening process to ensure that you are qualified for and suited to the position.

Alternatively, you can sign up for an agency before you see a posting that interests you and create a profile with them. From there, the agency will make you aware of available positions that you are qualified for.

Express Employment Professionals - which operates in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta - is one such agency you can go to for assistance in finding a job. Denise Bailey, who works for Express here in London, gave advice for those who are new to the concept of using these agencies. “If you're a job seeker, Express will assess your skills through online and in-person testing, offer interview and rsum writing tips and work with you to find a job that fits your needs and abilities.”

There are many factors to consider when choosing which agency to sign up with. Bailey advised that you “keep a record of which employment agencies are finding appropriate vacancies for you. If the ones you sign up for do not appear to be performing, find a new one to register with — you have nothing to lose.” It is also important to know what types of fees the agency you choose to apply with charges. Some, like Express, never charge applicants fees of any kind.

You may be wondering what an employment agency can offer that you can't do on your own; in simple terms, employment agencies do “all the hard work for you,” joked Bailey. Getting serious, Bailey described the numerous benefits that employment agencies can offer. “If you're looking in a particular sector, you can choose recruitment agencies that specialize in that sector,” she explained. “Recruitment agencies will be able to find jobs that match your requirements and skills and you won't waste your time by applying for unsuitable positions.”

If you're looking for some temporary work to get your feet wet before committing to a permanent job, employment agencies can be your friend, too. “You may want to do some temping before finding a permanent position,” said Bailey, “and there are recruitment agencies that specialize in finding temporary positions.”

Don't think that finding work through an employment agency means fewer employee benefits. As Bailey explained, there are numerous benefits available to those involved with employment agencies, including holiday pay, vacation pay, a medical and dental plan, life insurance, referral bonuses and scholarship programs.

Take the time to think about what kind of job you are looking for and what sort of job search you would like to do. If employment agencies sound like something that interests you, then check a few local agencies out; you may be just around the corner from landing your dream job!

For more information about Express Employment Professionals, check out expresspros.com.