Years ago, typical knowledge held that it's best to never seek out executive recruiters, aka headhunters. Instead, you should 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 have been some logic to that advice within the sturdy job markets of yesteryear. Nowadays, nevertheless, should you don’t take the initiative, you could wait a very long time in your phone to ring or a text message to ping. Maybe to your entire 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 example:
1. Be Seen
Not only will greater professional visibility increase 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 once you attain out to them. So, when you haven’t completed so already, be part of the professional associations in your subject and attempt to develop into active in them. Attend trade conferences and look for ways to participate as a presenter or panelist. Contribute to professional publications and websites. Make certain your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Your photo must be current, too, and portray you because the desirable—and hirable—professional you are. Anything you are able to do to get your name out there, wanting making a fool of yourself, can help.
2. Attend Conferences
Sure, we’ve talked about this already, however right here it is once more for a distinct reason. Recruiters often attend these conferences, too. It’s an excellent opportunity to network in what’s often a collegial, low-pressure setting. Bring loads of business cards and, just as essential, get theirs.
3. Target the Proper Recruiters
Executive search firms are inclined to specialize. Some large ones may cover multiple industries. Others focus more narrowly, equivalent to 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 area and should, in truth, have fewer connections there than you do.
4. Ask Round
In case you’re currently employed, you might not wish to broadsolid your interest 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 useful, others far less so). In case your contacts know you well enough and are comfortable recommending you, ask them for a referral or see whether you can use their names in introducing your self to the recruiter.
5. Check Them Out
Just as you’d investigate 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 in the event 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 a very good candidate. So don’t anticipate results immediately but attempt 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
For those who're known within the business, you may 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 rely on you as a productive, pleasant and considerate information source, it's possible you'll ultimately be top of mind after they're searching for a job that fits your credentials. As you talk to them, discover a way to point that you simply're always open to new opportunities yourself.
The Backside Line
Getting known by executive recruiters is a goal that should be part of everyone's career planning. Start placing yourself in the way of assembly them—and being useful to them—as early as attainable in your career.
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