Years ago, typical knowledge held that you must never seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, you should wait for them to contact you. Make the primary 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. Today, nevertheless, in the event you don’t take the initiative, you might wait a long time in your phone to ring or a textual content message to ping. Possibly on your entire career.

Still, some ways of connecting with executive recruiters are more efficient than others. The goal is to get on their radar without wasting your time or, heaven forbid, theirs. For example:

1. Be Visible

Not only will larger professional visibility improve the odds of recruiters coming your way, it will additionally make it more likely they’ll recognize your name and return your calls or emails while you attain out to them. So, if you happen to haven’t done so already, join the professional associations in your subject and try to turn out to be active in them. Attend business 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 photograph needs to be current, too, and painting you because the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you are able to do to get your name out there, in need of making a fool of yourself, can help.

2. Attend Conferences

Yes, we’ve talked about this already, but right here it is again for a different reason. Recruiters typically attend those conferences, too. It’s a superb opportunity to network in what’s often a collegial, low-pressure setting. Carry loads of business cards and, just as vital, get theirs.

3. Goal the Proper Recruiters

Executive search firms are inclined to specialize. Some massive ones could cover a number of industries. Others focus more narrowly, such as on a single business or a particular job skill. There’s no level losing your efforts on a firm that doesn’t recruit in your area and should, the truth is, have fewer connections there than you do.

4. Ask Round

In the event you’re currently employed, you might not wish to broadcast your curiosity in connecting with an executive recruiter. All the same, 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 useful, others far less so). If your contacts know you well sufficient and are comfortable recommending you, ask them for a referral or see whether or not you can use their names in introducing your self to the recruiter.

5. Check Them Out

Just as you’d examine any firm you were 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 linked to them, too, consider asking for an introduction.

6. Play It Cool

Even for those who really need a new job, there’s normally no level letting on. At any given time, a recruiter might or may not be working on searches for which you’d be a superb candidate. So don’t count on results instantly but try to build a relationship that will guarantee your name will be on the list— ideally, right up top—when an incredible opportunity comes along.

7. Be Useful

If you happen to’re known in the industry, you may also meet recruiters when 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 rely on you as a productive, friendly and considerate information supply, chances are you’ll finally be top of mind after they’re searching for a job that fits your credentials. As you talk to them, find a way to point that you just’re always open to new opportunities yourself.

The Backside Line

Getting known by executive recruiters is a goal that must be part of everyone’s career planning. Start putting yourself within the way of assembly them—and being helpful to them—as early as attainable in your career.

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