Approx 6 months before I was due to leave the Forces I started looking at Recruitment Agencies that found work specifically for Human Resources people like me!
Using the internet I found Agencies local to where I intended to settle that found work for Human Resources professionals. I sent emails with a detailed covering letter and Generic CV attached to them all and waited for them to get back to me. After a little while the Companies all got in touch one way or another. Some gave me brief phone interviews asking my experiences, what I was looking for in a job and just generally getting a feel of who I was and one Agency asked me to go and have an interview.
I was a little bit nervous before my interview as I didn’t really know what to expect. I wasn’t sure whether to go suited and booted or just smart/casual but I opted for the smart/casual. With regards to everything else, I decided to treat it like a job interview. I set off in good time to give myself time to get parked and locate the Office. I arrived about 15mins before my interview which although it was probably a little too early it worked out well as the Receptionist handed me a stack of forms to fill out and he also needed to copy my proof of ID, proof of address and NI Number.
When the Recruitment Consultant came out I stood, shook her hand and introduced myself. We then sat down and we started discussing what I was looking for with regards to work. Full time, Part time, Permanent, Fixed Term etc This is where you need to be forthright, put all those years of humility and self-deprecation behind you and tell them exactly what you want otherwise they are going to be matching you to jobs that you don’t want to do. It wastes your time and it wastes their time so it’s best to be as direct as possible right from the off. The Consultant also asked for a copy of my CV and a list of reference so ensure you have these with you. I also took my portfolio of Qualification certificates with me should they wish to see them/make copies. The Consultant was also very interested to hear details of my previous employment i.e. Individual jobs/positions and what the roles and responsibilities entailed which made me thankful I had prepared for this prior to the meeting.
After being in there for just under an hour the meeting came to an end. The recruitment consultant seemed extremely happy with me and as I was leaving informed me that she would be marketing me to her clients as a ‘Start Candidate’ due to my Qualifications and Experiences. I walked out of the Office and I felt fantastic. After 13 years of only being told you were any good at appraisal time it felt very strange for this stranger to be heaping praise on me, telling me how employable I was and that Companies would be fighting over me it was a very different experience.
Now that the interview is over I don’t intend for that to be it, to sit back and rest on my laurels. I plan to phone back weekly so I’m always at the forefront of their thoughts should that perfect position come in!!