Creative Job Search
On-line Job Search Guide

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Employment Agencies

Agency Employment agencies are another excellent job search resource. Agencies come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They may be private, public or government - profit or nonprofit. Some specialize in service to specific groups of people and have eligibility requirements. Others serve the general public. The job seeker may be the primary customer, but it may also be the employer. Many agencies focus on serving the employer by providing qualified applicants while others focus on the applicant by helping them find quality jobs. All these factors will influence the service that a job seeker can expect to receive.

The types of services offered will also vary. Here is a description of some common services:

Placement Assistance - Many employers list their job leads with agencies. The agency then recruits, screens and refers qualified applicants to the employer for consideration. The amount of screening will vary. Some will only refer the most qualified while others will post the position on a bulletin board and the applicant may self refer.

Temporary and Contract Placement - More employers are turning to temporary and contact agencies to meet their labor needs. Some employers use this as a way to try new employees before they make a decision on permanent employment. Others have a short term need that is best met through this service. Temporary jobs can work into permanent employment and are a way to build skills and meet financial needs while looking for other opportunities.

Job Search Assistance - Teaching job search skills so that people can successfully find their own jobs is a valuable service. This may include workshops and materials on a variety of job search topics. A subset to this is agencies specializing in resume writing. Usually for a fee, they will help people draft their resume.

Career Planning Assistance - Choosing a career is a big task that requires self assessment, a knowledge of employment trends and training opportunities. Career counselors/advisors can help in this effort. They usually offer aptitude, interest and skill testing and work with people to match their potential to employment opportunities.

Job seekers working with employment agencies should be wise consumers. It is important to know exactly what services you can expect and what will be expected of you. You should also find out what it will cost. Some fee agencies will charge the employer while others collect fees from the job seeker. Here are some additional tips:

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This page was last updated on April 17, 1997
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