Years ago, standard wisdom held that you should by no means seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, it is best to wait for them to contact you. Make the first move and you’d risk coming off as too keen if not totally desperate.
There might need been some logic to that advice within the strong job markets of yesteryear. These days, however, should you don’t take the initiative, you can wait a long time for your phone to ring or a text message to ping. Maybe in your whole career.
Still, some ways of connecting with executive recruiters are more effective than others. The goal is to get on their radar without losing your time or, heaven forbid, theirs. For instance:
1. Be Visible
Not only will greater professional visibility enhance the chances of recruiters coming your way, it will also make it more likely they’ll acknowledge your name and return your calls or emails if you attain out to them. So, should you haven’t accomplished so already, join the professional associations in your discipline and attempt to grow to be active in them. Attend industry conferences and look for ways to participate as a presenter or panelist. Contribute to professional publications and websites. Make certain your LinkedIn profile is as much as date. Your photo ought to be present, too, and portray you because the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you can do to get your name out there, in need of making a idiot of your self, can help.
2. Attend Conferences
Sure, we’ve talked about this already, however here it is once more for a distinct reason. Recruiters typically attend those conferences, too. It’s a superb opportunity to network in what’s usually a collegial, low-pressure setting. Carry loads of business cards and, just as vital, get theirs.
3. Target the Right Recruiters
Executive search firms are likely to specialize. Some large ones might cover multiple industries. Others focus more narrowly, resembling on a single industry or a particular job skill. There’s no point losing your efforts on a firm that doesn’t recruit in your field and should, actually, have fewer connections there than you do.
4. Ask Round
If you happen to’re at the moment employed, you won’t want to broadcast your interest in connecting with an executive recruiter. All the identical, it’s value checking with trusted colleagues and others in your network to see which recruiters they know and recommend.
Ask about their experiences (some recruiters are incredibly beneficiant and helpful, others far less so). In case your contacts know you well sufficient and are comfortable recommending you, ask them for a referral or see whether or not you need to use their names in introducing yourself to the recruiter.
5. Check Them Out
Just as you’d examine any company you have been hoping to interview with, research the recruiters, too. Look up their bios on their firms’ websites and read their profiles on LinkedIn. If any of your LinkedIn connections occur to be related to them, too, consider asking for an introduction.
6. Play It Cool
Even if you really want a new job, there’s normally no point letting on. At any given time, a recruiter would possibly or won’t be working on searches for which you’d be an excellent candidate. So don’t anticipate outcomes instantly but attempt to build a relationship that will guarantee your name will be on the list— ideally, proper up top—when a great opportunity comes along.
7. Be Helpful
When you’re known in the trade, you may additionally meet recruiters when certainly one of them checks with you as a reference for another person they’re researching as a candidate for a job. If recruiters come to depend on you as a productive, friendly and considerate information supply, chances are you’ll finally be top of mind when they’re searching for a job that fits your credentials. As you talk to them, find a way to point that you simply’re always open to new opportunities yourself.
The Bottom Line
Getting known by executive recruiters is a goal that should be part of everybody’s career planning. Start placing your self within the way of meeting them—and being helpful to them—as early as attainable in your career.
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