So you’re new to copywriting or you fancy a different job. Where are you going to go?
If you’re anything like me, your first thought is to go and register with a recruitment agency. A lot of jobs are posted by recruiters, so you’ll have to deal with one at some point in a job search.
You may have heard it said that recruiters are not on your side.
Their job is to fill the role for the client, not to find you a job. That’s a fair point. What you also need to know is that recruiters are just plain unhelpful in general.
It’s possible you read that last paragraph and feel I’m tarring them all with the same brush. Make no mistake: I am. In my relatively short time as a copywriter, I’ve dealt with 20+ recruitment agencies. All but one have been bad experiences. Those are not good odds.
I’ll give you three examples of bad recruiters I’ve dealt with:
Recruiter A: Pushed and pushed (and pushed) for a company to interview me. The interviewer’s opening words were: “Well, I don’t know why they sent you, really, as you’re not qualified and don’t have the right experience.”
Recruiter B: Told me to come in for a meeting. When I arrived, they’d double booked my appointment and someone else had the room. And it was my fault, because they’d forgotten to send me a confirmation email so clearly I shouldn’t have turned up.
Recruiter C: Gave me this advice: “Redo your portfolio from scratch with an art director and get on the placement circuit.” That’d be logical for someone just starting out, but at that point I had several years of experience. Starting over would have been tantamount to career suicide.
I could provide even more tales of recruiters calling me back and refusing to talk about the job I’d actually applied for. Recruiters who only accept CVs in Word format, presumably so they can edit them. Recruiters who arrange meetings and then leave the agency the next day (yes, that happened).
None of the clients and projects I have right now were found through a recruitment agency. A sad indictment of a broken system. Going through a recruiter gives you one of the least likely chances of finding work.
Now, I did mention one good recruiter. Why was this one so great? Because they were HELPFUL. They sent me prep documents before the interview, and offered advice on tweaking my submissions before passing them on to the company.
Did I get the job? No. Final two, just not the winner. But at least I felt supported.
Secret Copywriter was our anonymous blog series where PCN members can share their experiences of professional copywriting.