Before embarking on your job search there are certain things that you should remember in order to make the process easier and less stressful for yourself.

Rapid changes in today's insurance world mean that job opportunities are widespread, but the demands that are placed on the individual looking for a job are also greater.

Added to the fact that it can be quite daunting when you decide to leave your current role, there are so many job sites, press advertisements and agencies to consider, it is often difficult to know where to begin.

Registering with a recognised recruitment consultancy is a good starting point. Most recruitment consultants have industry knowledge, having worked in the relevant fields that they now recruit for. This ensures that your consultant is not only concerned about finding you the right job, which will match your skills and experience, but they are also the eyes and ears of the industry or market that you hope to work within.

Along with a thorough understanding of the recruitment process, they also understand the way in which companies work, market trends, recent changes and developments, as well as corporate culture and practices, which can only benefit you.

Prepare yourself
As a candidate, you cannot do enough preparation. At the outset, look at the websites of the agencies you would like to register with. This will provide a window into the types of roles the agency recruits. Focus your job search, but do not limit yourself by being overly narrow about the vacancies you apply for. Before approaching an agency, ensure that your curriculum vitae is fully updated with all relevant qualifications and experience. This will be your initial marketing tool, which you need to make a good impression on the recruiter. In addition, be sure to provide an insight to your current role and expand on achievements.

As a client, you should understand the type of people you wish to employ, how to gain these candidates and have an in-depth knowledge of the benefit and progression that they will gain from working with you. Recruitment and retention are the biggest challenges faced by some companies. Consultants will act in an advisory capacity on these issues and develop a sound working relationship with the client companies they deal with. While skills shortages still exist across many areas, there is also competition between candidates for some of the top jobs.

Two-way process
Because of this, recruiters are working towards helping the applicant to secure the right position and also servicing the needs of the skill-searching organisation, as the quest for suitable people continues. A good consultant should be able to marry the two together successfully. They should always be on hand to provide information at the latter stages, should never influence the outcome and should only get you interviews for the jobs that you are genuinely interested in.

Once the candidate has overcome any initial hurdles and the all-important interview has been arranged by the recruitment consultant, it is now important to be confident and prepared. Candidates should ensure that they know as much as possible about the company they are meeting. This can be achieved through looking at their website, keeping abreast of any recent news and developments concerning the particular organisation and gaining information from your recruitment consultant.

Be yourself during an interview and don't make any false claims about yourself. The same applies to the client – a true reflection of the role and future prospects should be communicated. Staff retention can be higher if the candidate is aware of everything from the start, rather than the reality being different when they have actually joined the company. A good interview is a two-way process and a chance for both parties to get a true taste of what the other is about.