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The Way to a Recruitment Consultants’ Heart

Caren Doyle Recruitment

South Africa’s recruitment industry sometimes reminds me of a sausage machine. Mostly Career Seekers are treated like a number and often you’re not even afforded the respect of a call to let you know you didn’t make the interview shortlist..

But there are some good consultants who do care and who work hard to find you your dream job. So to get them to go the extra mile for you, here are a few pointers.

Most recruitment companies have a database onto which they pull your CV. Your CV is then formatted and sent to the relevant client. Time is of the essence in this industry and so to assist your consultant in doing the most professional job for you is important. So help them to get your CV out to their clients with as minimal fuss as possible.

This means your CV should be in as easy-to-read format as possible. My advice is this. Have two CV’s at the ready. The one that goes to the recruitment consultant is a very simple Word CV with NO formatting, NO fancy columns and spacing – just Word done in Times size 10. The second CV is the one you keep for sending directly to companies and this is where you pull out your creative stops.

What to include on your CV

Personal Details

  • Full names and surname and if you have a name you prefer to be called please put that in i.e. Andiswa Alfred Amos Marokane (known as Amos)
  • ID number (many companies now use your ID number to send you online tests)
  • Nationality
  • Male or female
  • BEE status
  • If not an SA citizen – please state so clearly and give your Work Permit expiry date
  • Location – suburb, city, country
  • Marital status, number of dependents
  • Driver’s License – yes/no
  • Do you have your own transport – this is often important if you are to visit clients.


Your matric/diploma/certificate/degree in detail, where you studied and what year you completed your studies. Any other courses or certification you completed. If you haven’t completed a qualification – please give a reason why not.

Skills Matrix

Vital if you’re in the IT industry! Supply a detailed, updated skills matrix. Many recruitment agencies have their own and I know it gets cumbersome to keep filling in different versions, but find one that is best for you and include it in your CV.

Work Experience

Please provide your employment info starting with your current job at the top.
A good way to present this is as follows:

  • October 2009 – Current
  • Deloitte
  • Senior Java Developer

Responsibilities • Present these in bullet format or in neat paragraphs. • Provide as much information as possible – projects/clients worked on, platforms/ languages or methodologies used, how many in your team, did you have management/team lead responsibilities, the complexities, how long the project lasted – everything you can think of. • Achievements: Do your own bragging – no-one else is going to do it for you. Tell us about your achievements and successes! • Reason for wanting to leave: If you were retrenched or decided to take a 3 month holiday – please put that in your CV so all the time periods are accounted for. Never, ever lie on your CV! This is a dismissible offense and the last thing you want to happen just as you’ve started your dream job. And believe me, it does happen. I always tell my son – if you lie you will be found out. Perhaps not today or tomorrow or even next year, but some time when you least expect it or want it, it will come to bite you in a very uncomfortable place! Every single company or recruitment consultant do their checks against a national database and speak to companies you’ve worked for to get references. Other documentation to include Because the world has become such a mistrusting place we now need the following documentation from you to prove you are who you say you are: • ID or • Passport with Work Permit (every page of your passport has to be scanned) • Your latest pay slip • Certified copies of your qualifications (separately scanned and not as one big document) • A list of references (not written references unless asked for specifically) – this means people you reported to directly and not colleagues or family – with contactable telephone numbers (all references are taken telephonically). Keep these on a usb stick if you have to so you can get it off to the consultant as quickly as possible and not have to wait until tonight when you get home. If you know of a problem with your financial record or you have a judgement against you, please advise the consultant BEFOREHAND. This avoids a lot of embarrassing stuff after the fact. I hope this helps and that the process runs a bit smoother for you whilst looking for your next move in your career.


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