Years ago, conventional knowledge held that it’s best to by no means seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, you must 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 robust job markets of yesteryear. Lately, nonetheless, in the event you don’t take the initiative, you would wait a very long time in your phone to ring or a textual content message to ping. Possibly on your whole career.

Still, some ways of connecting with executive recruiters are more efficient 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 higher professional visibility improve the percentages of recruiters coming your way, it will also make it more likely they’ll recognize your name and return your calls or emails while you attain out to them. So, should you haven’t executed so already, be part of the professional associations in your field and try to develop into active in them. Attend industry conferences and look for ways to participate as a presenter or panelist. Contribute to professional publications and websites. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Your photo should be current, too, and painting you because the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you can do to get your name out there, short of making a idiot of yourself, can help.

2. Attend Conferences

Yes, we’ve mentioned this already, but right here it is once more for a different reason. Recruiters usually attend those conferences, too. It’s a good opportunity to network in what’s normally a collegial, low-pressure setting. Bring plenty of enterprise cards and, just as essential, get theirs.

3. Target the Right Recruiters

Executive search firms tend to specialize. Some giant ones might cover a number of industries. Others focus more narrowly, reminiscent of on a single business or a particular job skill. There’s no point wasting your efforts on a firm that doesn’t recruit in your discipline and should, in reality, have fewer connections there than you do.

4. Ask Around

When you’re at present employed, you may not wish to broadsolid 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 generous and helpful, 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 should 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 related to them, too, consider asking for an introduction.

6. Play It Cool

Even when you really need a new job, there’s usually no level letting on. At any given time, a recruiter may or may not be working on searches for which you’d be an excellent candidate. So don’t count on outcomes immediately however attempt to build a relationship that will ensure your name will be on the list— ideally, right up top—when an awesome opportunity comes along.

7. Be Helpful

Should you’re known within the business, you might also meet recruiters when one in all 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, pleasant and thoughtful information supply, you might finally be top of mind once they’re searching for a job that fits your credentials. As you talk to them, find a way to indicate that you simply’re always open to new opportunities yourself.

The Bottom Line

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

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