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Why should freelancers use recruitment consultants?

negotiation strategies

Written by James Goodwin

You may have pre-conceived ideas of what job and recruitment consultants are like, so to start off with I want to assure you that we are not all bad! I, along with my colleagues at Bespoke really care about what we do.

So why use recruitment consultants?

We know the industry
A good recruitment consultant will be honest, reliable and will know their industry. Our knowledge of the market along with a fantastic network will give you an advantage when looking for work. I personally know people in nearly all the top 100 digital agencies as well as people in the really cool little ones too!

We are the first to know
We all know the job market is definitely not what it was, but from a recruiter’s point of view, it seems to be picking up. We are the first to know which companies are hiring and even if clients are not actively looking we know the decision makers, so we can get your details in front of them, in case anything comes up.

Trained at negotiations
Another advantage of using a recruitment consultant is that we are trained at negotiation strategies, skills that don’t always come naturally to you as a creative. It is in our interest to get you the best salary or freelance rate, we are a business after all.

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How to get the most out your recruitment consultant

Your CV
Firstly, take your time with your CV, this is the first thing that people will see and as a creative the way your CV is formatted is incredibly important. Try to keep your it down to a couple of sheets of A4, clients inevitably will not look past the first few pages.

Your portfolio
With your folio, only send your top/favourite pieces of work. Again, take your time with your PDF folio; this is what we will be sending to our clients. So a single PDF document with a few beautiful samples is best. Obviously if you’re a Digital Designer it’s imperative to have your own website.

Know what you want
Before you register with an agency, have a clear idea of what you are looking for, know what you want in your next role, the type of agency you want to work for and the type of role you are after. Also be realistic, don’t apply for roles which you are not qualified for, read job specs and think whether you actually have the skills needed before applying.

Use us for practice
When you meet with a recruitment consultant, treat it like a job interview. One of the aspects of our job is to judge how you present yourself and how we feel you will come across to our clients. If anything, use your interview with us as practice for a real job interview. Don’t be scared of asking us questions, we are here to help you get work, it’s our job. We should be giving you honest feedback and critique on your folio, we know what our clients are looking for.

Keep in touch
We are meeting new people every day, we have a database of thousands of candidates, an update email every now and then will do. Try not to call us too often; as time spent talking to you is time away from our clients trying to find you work!

No more than three
Personally, I would recommend working with no more than three recruitment companies, you want to come across as a person in high demand, if you flood the market with your CV it dilutes its impact. So that’s obviously Bespoke and possibly 2 others!

Good luck!

Guest article from James Goodwin of Bespoke Careers, London.

Further reading
[Want to follow this article up by writing one about why employers should use recruitment consultants? See our Write for us page.]

Photo credit: Manchester Library via Flickr cc

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About GregDillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic. Feel free to email him at: or follow on Twitter @StratTalking

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