Working with an Agency – A Candidate’s Guide to Do’s and Don’ts

  • Posted May 23, 2024

You’re considering a move. Maybe your current role is a bit stale, the relationship with your line manager has broken down or you’re looking for a pay increase.

 You notice a role advertised through an agency so you send an application. A Recruiter calls you back to talk through the position and your experience, with a view to put you forwards to the role and hopefully secure you an interview.

As Recruiters, we work with thousands of candidates a year, hundreds of CV submissions and interviews. A lot of the time the relationship with the candidate is a positive one, but sometimes problems can arise. The following article suggests a number of things you should and shouldn’t do when working with a Recruitment Agent, to help you secure the highest level of success.


Sell yourselfAs with a direct application, it’s imperative you sell yourself when applying for a position. Highlight your strengths and key achievements. We write a covering letter on your behalf so giving us as much great content for it will do your application wonders.

Lay out your expectationsWhen applying, take into consideration the salary and terms that you’d expect from a role and tell us. We share this information directly with the employer, so any information you provide us helps all parties understand the boundaries.

Be honestThis one speaks for itself. It’ll very quickly catch you out if you’re dishonest during the process. Gaping holes in experience or capability will be noticed.

Take our adviceAs Recruiters, most of the time we have extensive experience when it comes to how to propose you for a job, whether you’d be successful or whether your expectations are unrealistic.

Check out an agency’s reputation/ability – Given that recruitment is mostly unregulated, make sure you’re working with someone you can trust. Ask questions, read testimonials.


Apply for the same role through multiple agenciesOf course, sometimes mistakes can be made and you may not know you’re applying for the same position, but we see on a daily basis an applicant thinking they have a higher chance of success by applying for a job through multiple means.

LieOn so many levels, deceit rarely results in success. Lying on a CV, during a recruiter call or at interview, will get you found out.

Change your expectations mid-processAgain all too common, a candidate will decide mid-process that their salary demands have increased by £10,000 or the role they were told is office based they now want to work remotely. Going into the process aware of where you stand is key.

Approach the employer directly (unless agreed)Our experts are here to help you not hinder you. Keeping a single line of communication avoids confusion. A seamless process relies on solid control and clear communication.

Shout at usAfter all, we’re here to help!

Follow these simple steps and your experience with a Recruiter should be a good one!

For more tips, feel free to reach out to one of the SYR team!