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Give Your Career Direction - Build Your Link with Your Recruitment Consultant

14 Oct 2014
Karen Kerr

Give Your Career Direction Build Link With Recruitment


As Principal Consultant for Financial Services recruitment, Karen Kerr knows more than most about the benefits of a long-term consultant-candidate relationship. With more than 14 years of experience in her field, in this article Karen discusses what candidates can do to strengthen their link with their recruitment consultant, and encourage growth in their career.


1. Communicate honestly

I really appreciate it when candidates tell me what their long-term career goals are, and exactly why they are looking for a new role at the moment. It helps me to know, for example, that although they would like to be considered for the opportunity currently, in a year or a few years’ time, they will be looking for further progression.

It’s important to be entirely honest with the recruiter you’re working with. You may be entirely open to suggestions of roles, but there is no harm in telling them if something isn’t quite right for you, or you would prefer to wait to hear of different opportunities later on.

It’s also imperative that you stay in communication with them. Keep in touch and keep them updated when it comes to new responsibilities you have gained in your role, new skills you have learned, or interviews that you have been invited to, even if the recruiter isn’t the one who secured them for you. All of these will help your consultant to build a better understanding of who you are, where you would be best suited and which roles would be ideal to be aiming for.

Bernard Madure is someone I have had the pleasure of placing in a number of roles, and who has demonstrated the great opportunities that arise when everyone is on the same page about what the future should hold. He said:

“I was successfully placed in two roles and my current position, which is the place I desired to be, is more than I could have asked for. This is a position where I can develop into a thorough investment professional. Karen was very helpful and very proactive in securing me an interview. Her knowledge of the market and also the available opportunities went a very long way in getting me the role I’m in now.”

Communication is, of course, a two way street – of course you want to make sure the consultant knows everything they possibly can about you, but make sure you take time to listen to their industry insights, specific company knowledge and expert advice on your CV and interview tactics.


2. Know your box, but look outside of it too

It’s so important to know your industry intricately. Having that knowledge of what the key issues are and exciting trends as well as a great baseline understanding of competitors and new players shows that you mean business and are here to be taken seriously. This includes knowing the roles you are suitable for inside out, however, it’s also important to be flexible and be willing to be repositioned in the industry if that’s what your consultant thinks would be the best thing for your career.

You might have the perfect skills for a role you would love, but if you lack flexibility and willingness to try new things, then you simply wouldn’t hear about it. What I want most is to fit great candidates in roles where they’ll be happy, the company will love them and they will make a difference, and a slight shift in understanding in terms of available roles and suitability is sometimes all it takes to make this happen.


3. True passion

When a candidate comes to me with true passion for their industry or role, it makes it so much easier to get them to where they want to be. It has to be organic, which is why the previous two points are key. In knowing what opportunities you are aiming for in life, and communicating them to me honestly, it gives me a true appreciation of what your passion is in life and how it is that I can make a difference to your career.

Stuart Taylor is a key example of what interest and passion for an industry can do for your career if communicated well – I have now placed him in four roles throughout his career.

“From my first job placement, Karen was very approachable considering my ‘green’ nature to the job market and inexperience on where to pitch my skills. Karen managed me through this very well and has led me to return to her when I have been looking for new roles.”

Always remember that a career is a journey that can be incredibly exciting, but sometimes daunting – to get where you want to be, make sure you’re working with those who can help you to the best of your ability.


Karen Kerr is Principal Consultant for our Financial Services division. To get in touch with Karen regarding your possibilities in Financial Services, contact her on 0131 550 1129 or email your CV to



Karen Kerr
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