Applying for jobs

This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here:


Most applications will be rejected within the first few seconds of being opened.

It is important to keep track of all the positions that you apply for. You can do this using bespoke software or just by using a spreadsheet. Organise the columns into:

–        Company

–        Website

–        Recruiter

–        Number

–        Email

–        Notes

In many cases the recruitment process starts with the first contact you make with a recruitment agency.

– Recruiters

Unfortunately in recent years recruitment consultants and agents have earned a bad reputation in the IT industry. Almost every candidate has received a bad service at some point in his or her career. Many agents conduct their business professionally and you should not hold one bad experience against all agents, as they could be the key to securing your dream role. If you fail to impress your recruitment agent when you make contact with them it is likely that they will not want to represent you at their clients site.

It is important to treat recruiters the right way.

Recruiters earn commission from getting you a job. Typically a recruiter will earn between 10-30% of your first years salary from getting you a job. Most recruiters are fickle. Their main concern is to make as much commission as possible. This is not necessarily a bad thing but you need to use it to your advantage.

You want your recruiter to believe:

  1. You are the best person for the job
  2. You will interview well enough to get the job

The trick to it is to come across as someone that will perform very well at interview and is extremely suitable for the role. Here are some tips

To give you the best chance make sure you are likeable by being friendly, confident and enthusiastic. If you make a friend out of your agent, you will make sure you get put forward for every role they have.

Treat every recruiter with respect

Never patronize a recruiter. I can recount many occasions where a developer has been very patronizing, despite me trying to be patient and helpful, taking every effort to understand what they have done, as recruiters we are often treated with contempt. As a recruiter, if I don’t trust that a candidate will do well in an interview – I can not confidently make a recommendation to my client.

Recruiters are handling your career so my advice would be to Treat every recruiter with respect. It just may encourage them to put you forward as their first choice.


This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here:

Originally titled ‘the top 2%’ the copy has been researched, compiled and edited continually over the last five years by the team at RecWorks Ltd. An IT recruitment consultancy aimed at spotting and developing technical talent with a focus in Java and Graduate developers.


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