Years ago, conventional knowledge held that it is best to by no means seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, you must wait for them to contact you. Make the primary move and also 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. These days, however, should 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. Maybe on 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 wasting your time or, heaven forbid, theirs. For instance:
1. Be Visible
Not only will higher professional visibility increase the chances of recruiters coming your way, it will additionally make it more likely they’ll recognize your name and return your calls or emails whenever you reach out to them. So, if you haven’t performed so already, be part of the professional associations in your discipline and attempt to change into active in them. Attend business 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 must be present, too, and portray you because the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you can do to get your name on the market, short of making a idiot of your self, can help.
2. Attend Conferences
Sure, we’ve mentioned this already, but right here it is again for a different reason. Recruiters often attend these conferences, too. It’s a very good opportunity to network in what’s often a collegial, low-pressure setting. Carry loads of enterprise cards and, just as necessary, get theirs.
3. Goal the Right Recruiters
Executive search firms tend to specialize. Some large ones could cover multiple industries. Others focus more narrowly, equivalent to on a single business or a particular job skill. There’s no point losing your efforts on a firm that doesn’t recruit in your field and will, in actual fact, have fewer connections there than you do.
4. Ask Round
If you happen to’re currently employed, you won’t want to broadforged your curiosity in connecting with an executive recruiter. All the same, it’s price 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 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 you should use their names in introducing yourself to the recruiter.
5. Check Them Out
Just as you’d examine any company 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 should you really want a new job, there’s often no point letting on. At any given time, a recruiter may or may not be working on searches for which you’d be a superb candidate. So don’t count on results instantly however attempt to build a relationship that will ensure your name will be on the list— ideally, right up top—when an incredible opportunity comes along.
7. Be Helpful
If you happen to’re known within the industry, you might also 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 source, you could 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 just’re always open to new opportunities yourself.
The Bottom Line
Getting known by executive recruiters is a goal that ought to be part of everybody’s career planning. Start putting yourself in the way of meeting them—and being helpful to them—as early as attainable in your career.
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