How to Get a Job in a Recruitment Agency

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How to Get a Job in a Recruitment Agency

If you are starting out on your career, or fancy a career change and transitioning to work in a recruitment agency, follow the steps below to maximise your chances of success.

Before we start: please note the difference between working for a recruitment agency and working in internal recruitment, although both involve recruitment they are very different. A recruitment agency will work with a number of clients across different sectors sourcing permanent or contract staff to fill jobs. Internal recruitment involves sourcing candidates for one company, your employer.

A recruitment agency will remunerate you with a basic salary plus commission, the amount of which is typically based on the number of candidates (and therefore revenue you generate) you successfully place into jobs. Internal recruitment might pay a higher basic salary but the OTE (on target earnings) can be quite a bit less than working in a recruitment agency as you will be providing a service to your employer by filling their vacancies compared to generating substantial revenue by placing candidates into other companies. This blog looks at how to get a job in a recruitment agency.

how to get a job at a recruitment agencyResearch and identify recruitment agencies

Look for recruitment agencies in your area or the location where you want to work. Explore their websites, social media profiles, and job postings to understand their specialization, clientele, and company culture. Identify agencies that align with your interests, sector and career goals.

Tailor your resume and cover letter

Customise your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and experience in recruitment, sales or target driven B2B or B2C roles. Emphasize any previous experience working in recruitment, sourcing candidates, conducting interviews, or managing client relationships or B2B sales. Showcase your understanding of the recruitment process and your ability to meet client needs.

Leverage your network

Reach out to your professional network, including contacts from previous jobs, general networking or industry events, to inquire about any potential job opportunities in recruitment agencies. Networking with current and past colleagues, or on sites such as LinkedIn can provide valuable insights, referrals, and recommendations that can help you secure a position.

How to get a job in a recruitment agency

Apply for open positions

Keep an eye on job boards, the recruitment agency’s website, and industry-specific job portals for openings in recruitment agencies. Apply for positions that match your skills, experience, and career aspirations. Follow the application instructions carefully and submit all required documents.

Prepare for interviews

Once you secure an interview, prepare thoroughly. Research the agency and its clients, familiarise yourself with their recruitment process and any specialized sectors they work with. Be prepared to discuss your experience, skills, and knowledge of recruitment strategies. Demonstrate your ability to work under pressure, handle multiple tasks, and effectively communicate with candidates and clients. See more information in our Interview Guide.

Showcase your sales and relationship-building skills


Recruitment agencies often require recruiters to engage in business development activities, build client relationships, and meet sales targets. Highlight any experience or skills you have in sales, customer service, or relationship management. Emphasize your ability to identify client needs, provide recruitment solutions, and maintain long-term partnerships.


Demonstrate your adaptability and resilience

Recruitment can be a fast-paced and demanding industry. Employers look for candidates who can handle pressure, work with tight deadlines, and adapt to changing priorities. Showcase your ability to multitask, prioritize, and handle challenging situations effectively.

Stay updated with industry trends

How to get a job in a recruitment agency

Keep yourself informed about the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in the recruitment industry. Attend industry events, webinars, and conferences to expand your knowledge and demonstrate your commitment to professional development.

Be open to starting at an entry-level position

If you’re new to the recruitment industry, consider starting at an entry-level position within a recruitment agency. This can provide you with valuable hands-on experience and allow you to learn the intricacies of the industry from the ground up. As you gain experience and prove your capabilities, you can progress to more senior roles.

Follow up after interviews

After each interview, send a thank-you note or email to express your gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position. This gesture can leave a positive impression and demonstrate your professionalism.

The REC (Recruitment & Employment Confederation)

Is a member-based organisation for the recruitment agency sector, but not every agency will be a member (there are other recruitment agency membership organisations and there are no real benefits to being affiliated with the REC or similar organisations). For further help in enhancing your understanding of the recruitment agency market, visit Recruitment & Employment Confederation.

By following these steps, showcasing your relevant skills and experience, and demonstrating your passion for recruitment, you can increase your chances of getting a job in a recruitment agency. Remember to tailor your application materials, network with professionals in the industry, and stay informed about industry trends.


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