Getting Started with Placement Agencies


Applying for work through an agency can be quick and easy. At many placement agencies, job seekers can register, submit a resume, and search for jobs online. Other candidates find the positions first on a job board and then apply directly to the agency for that specific position. Before you work with any placement agency, it is important to know exactly what services you can expect and what will be expected of you. So be sure to ask plenty of questions. Here are tips to getting started:

  1. Develop your strategy. Be clear about what type of work you want to do, what type of position you are seeking, and what type of industry or company you would like to work for.
  2. Search for a variety of agencies that target industries, positions, and specialty areas of interest to you. Some placement agencies specialize in supplying contracted library services for particular types of libraries such as public or federal. Research the types of contracts that the agency supplies if you’re interested in gaining experience in a particular workplace.
  3. Contact agencies of interest and ask them how to get started. Options may include having you apply online, meeting in person, or having you search for positions on their website and then apply. So do your homework.

Keep in mind:

  • A placement agency is a third party working to find an individual whose skills match their client’s job opening needs.
  • The agency does not work for you – they work for the company in which you are being placed.
  • Be professional in all of your interactions and treat agencies as you would an employer.
  • Be available. Most agencies expect you to make yourself available when they offer you a position. If you turn down more than a couple of opportunities, they may not be as quick to consider you for future positions.
  • Make a list of the skills you have to offer to an employer.
  • Write a targeted, professional, and competitive resume to use as your marketing tool.
  • You can and should register or apply for posted positions with more than one agency at a time.
  • Follow each agency’s specific instructions. Each may have different requirements, and you want to demonstrate your flexibility, attention to detail, and thoroughness in your interactions.
  • Ask questions, and use the agency to help you target companies that meet your criteria. They often have inside knowledge about companies and/or what the business cycle hiring needs are.