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Three ways to land your dream job: the pros and cons

Job hunting today is not as straightforward as it once was. Jobseekers are using different methods to find employment - from connecting with a recruiter, applying directly to a company and old-fashioned networking.

We have looked into the pros and cons of these methods to help you decide the best way to apply for a job.

Direct application:

Whether in person, via the company website or email, direct application is about proactively selling yourself to potential employers.


If applying directly through a company website, your resume will go into the company database which will make you searchable for future jobs.

Without the involvement of a third party, the job application process is more personal, giving employers a better chance to get to know you.


If you don’t know the hiring manager, you are likely to end up in the same database with all the other applicants, leaving you to hope that it stands out amongst the crowd.

There is no third party to discuss the role with or to provide any inside information, which may boost your chances of getting the job.  

Recruitment agency:

Recruiters provide a professional service, communicating between you and potential employers.


If you don’t have an existing connection at a company, there is a good chance that a recruiter will. Their access means that your resume will go to the right person, rather than being filtered through various channels when you apply directly.

Recruiters work closely with the employers so they know what companies are looking for. They can help you tailor your resume for the position and prepare you for a specific company interview style.


Using recruiters costs the hiring company an additional 20-30% of your annual salary as a recruiting fee. If budgets are tight, companies may look elsewhere for potential employees. Therefore, a recruiter’s motivation may be driven by the fee rather than your suitability as a candidate.


Putting yourself out there by establishing social connections with others is a useful way of opening the doors to job opportunities.


Often your best chance of getting an interview is to build relationships with hiring managers or other employees at targeted companies before a specific job is advertised. By doing so you are likely to be top of mind when a new role arises.  

Networking helps you to find a place within the hidden job market. You can be afforded an opportunity which is not yet advertised to the wider public, therefore reducing competition.


Establishing networks can be a long, drawn-out process that requires patience and persistence. 

No matter what method you choose, remember the quality of your resume and cover letter is just as important. For tips on how to write a winning cover letter, click here.