My First Blog – 5 essential tips for job seekers

blog-684748_1920My First Blog – 5 essential tips for job seekers

I’ve been a recruiter for over 12 years. I’ve seen many things, had lots of different experiences and made plenty of mistakes. Despite many people suggesting I should, I’ve never written a blog or voluntarily shared information.

After interviewing a Senior Javascript Developer today, she thanked me for the insight and advice I’d given her. Lightbulb moment – perhaps after 12+ years as recruiter, I should start a blog and share my experiences with a wider audience.

So here goes; my first ever blog – ‘5 essential tips for job seekers’. Expect to see spelling mistakes, honesty and hopefully some insight and value.

1. Work with a decent recruiter

A good recruiter is worth their weight in gold. They should make your job search hassle free. You shouldn’t feel lied to, mislead or pressurised at any stage. Nobody should be calling your work number or emailing your boss. If this happens bin the recruiter!

2. Know what you want

What is your motivation for looking for a new job? What are your requirements? I’ve never had a client say to me “find me a candidate who only wants to earn more money”. It is important that you are clear about what you are looking for. I promise you, you are not only after a pay rise. Write down your goals and motivations, I ask every candidate I speak with to share their 3 main motivations for looking for a job with me. Money is never an acceptable answer.

3. Be clear about what you can offer

Make sure you understand what your skills and strengths are. These are the skills and areas you want to be working on in a new job so make that clear on your CV and to the recruiter. Most businesses want adaptable candidates with great attitudes who will chip-in with projects outside of the core focus without a hissy fit but rarely do they want a jack of all trades and a master of none.

4. Always attend interviews if offered

Candidates will regularly agree to an interview but then get offered something and cancel the interview, especially on the contract freelance market. I hear candidates saying I don’t want to waste his/her or mine time and I don’t agree with this at all. At worst, attending an interview is a good experience that will help you tailor what you like or don’t like about a business and/or your ability to interview, and at best you fall upon an amazing opportunity you didn’t know existed. I never understand why candidates or clients cancel interviews at short notice, make them shorter by all means, but never completely cancel them.

5. Be interview ready

An obvious one but always make sure you do some research about the company. You simply have no excuse not to know a quick elevator pitch about what the client does, and you should have looked up the interviewer up on Linkedin at the very least. And make sure you prepare your questions. They will give the interviewer an insight into your personality and culture fit. Questions should be about the job, company, role and responsibilities, not…

  • What are the working hours?
  • What’s the salary?
  • How much holiday do I get?
  • Can I leave early every Friday?

So there you go, my first ever blog. Only 5 pieces of advice but its 5 more than I had shared yesterday.

For more information regarding this blog or Lewis Hollings please contact me on or call me on 07858 973 473

Turning down a job: The right way and the wrong way

Turning down a job: The right way and the wrong way

With the market being so competitive, and so many clients looking to hire great staff, candidates are often faced with more than one job offer, meaning they have to let someone down.

When turning down a job you are left with two options – the right way and the wrong way.

Over the last 12 years I have several examples where people have turned down a job but actually end up building a good relationship with the client (and the recruiter) because they handle the situation with honesty. I have also seen many examples of people burning bridges completely and potentially damaging their own reputation.

Here are 3 examples of the wrong way, all true stories I’m afraid…

I was working on a Head of QA role for a client we had made multiple placements with. After a hard drawn out process they made an attractive offer to a candidate (I don’t mind saying it was an 11k fee). The candidate accepted and signed and returned the paperwork. I stayed in touch regularly and nothing seemed amiss. I text the candidate on the Sunday to wish him well for tomorrow; he replied thanking me. Monday came and at 10.30am the client called asking me where the candidate was. It was 4 months before I spoke to that candidate again!! He completely disappeared because he didn’t have the minerals to call me or the client to let us know.

Another example is an Account Director who was offered and accepted a role with agency. The candidate was available immediately and was due to start within the week. Nothing can go wrong, right? Wrong. Another no show on start date without a call or email! This time on the dreaded Monday morning I call the candidate and receive an abroad tone… The candidate had moved to Germany over the weekend to take on a new role that was “too good to turn down” and had “forgotten” to tell me or the client! Amazing.

The final example is, I hope, very rare. I had a developer referred to me by a friend. The candidate did really well in the interview, his work examples and experience were perfect but I was not convinced he really wanted the job. Something was niggling me. He continued with the process and accepted the role. I mentioned to the client that I’m not 100% convinced but both wanted to continue. Monday came and he started, the client was delighted and on Monday evening the candidate told me he had a good day. Tuesday morning came and I got the call… The candidate phoned the client to say he wasn’t returning because he didn’t know the job was working on a product and actually wants to work for an agency! He knew all along the role was as described. Extremely frustrating for the client who had to return to square one. The candidate completely misjudged the situation and felt by starting and not liking it was somehow different to turning it down when offered.

My advice is ‘honesty is the best policy’! It might be brutal and uncomfortable but brutal honesty is an absolute must. Be brave, pluck up the courage and make the call. Don’t rely on emails and certainly don’t put it off and hope it will go away.

I’d love to hear the horror stories you’ve experienced? Or maybe your reasons for turning down a job in the way you did?

For more information regarding this blog or Lewis Hollings please contact me on or call me on 07858 973 473