Applies for a Contract
When an IT contractor applies for a contract on a job board they are often astonished when they are told by the agency that the position has already been filled.
This is even though the job ad has just appeared and the IT Contractor is a perfect fit for the contract role.
Here is one reader who tells us what happens in one instance when he applies for a contract position from a job board.
IT Contractor Reader Brendan Who Applies for a Contract
Dr. McLaughlin can you give me some advice on what you would do in this circumstance?
I saw a job that suited me on a Job Board and I got in touch with the agency.
The agency said that they already had a whole host of CVs for that IT contract. They didn’t need any more.
They said it was first come first served (this often happens when a contractor applies for a contract).
Another Job Posted
About a week later I saw one for the same agency which was just right for me. It had just been posted.
I called them up but with the same result.
Any idea what this is all about?
Should I chase up agencies that don’t get back to me?
Dr. McLaughlin’s IT Surgery
I was almost going to say that it wasn’t worthwhile but it may just be worth one call.
It’s always possible that you slipped between the lines when they have been compiling the candidate list and when you point out you have the exact skills with lots of experience in those skills areas they may well add you to the list of candidates sent.
People can often change their minds – especially agents if they think there is something in it for them.
What you might say would be something like ‘I know you’ve said you’ve already selected the candidates, but it might be worth your while to take another quick look at my CV as, not only am I an exact match for the contract, but I have lots of good practical experience with those skills. Not only that, I normally get interviews I go to. You wouldn’t regret putting me forward’.
Put like this they are likely to say that they’ll take another look.
Some won’t – but some will.
They must get loads of calls from IT contractors chasing them up about job ads that are a perfect match for them when they’ve already selected the candidates.
Even if the IT contract has just come on one job board it may have been on others beforehand.
Once you’ve made yourself known to them and sold yourself in just a couple of sentences it’s not worth chasing them up again.
Of course they should get back to IT Contractors to tell them they haven’t been selected. However, given the choice of using a lot of their time phoning or emailing contractors to tell them the bad news and spending time looking for other contracts, most of them will do the latter.
That’s the nature of the beast.
Recruiters are always going to do what’s good for themselves.
They may be competing with other agencies and if they thought that you had a better chance of getting them the contract than others then they would put you forward.
Have Standard Sale Pitch
However, it is always worth using any call to try to sell yourself in a couple of sentences to try to get them to reconsider so it might be worth constructing a sentence or two, like the ones I did above, that you could use as a standard when you are calling agencies.
Even if it doesn’t get you back on the list for that particular contract they may remember it if your name comes up again on a search for another position.
Remember that IT Contractors are generally not good salesmen.
Salesmen usually have a standard ‘pitch’ so why not IT Contractors? After all you’re selling yourself.
Lastly, another tack that you could use would be to try to find out more information about the job – and added to what you know from the job ad, you could contact another agency, give them what you know and try to get them to put you forward.
It’s a lot of small things that this that can give you a little bit of an edge over other IT Contractors.
Downloading IT Contractors Details
If you do really want to get back at the agencies who do this then it might be an idea to report them to the job board.
After all, they are cheating the job board.
When a contractor applies for a contract, it should be a real contract as far as the job board is concerned.
They are downloading the details of loads of IT contractors that are customers of the job board when they don’t really have a job for the contractors.
The job board may take a dim view of this.
They are basically stealing leads on false pretences.
They could find themselves banned from the job board.
It might even be illegal.
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