As you work to achieve your career management goals this year, it may also be an excellent time to brush up on the things you must do to get the most out of your interactions with executive recruiters. The following commandments should be strictly followed lest you be struck down by the evil job search demons.

1. Thou shalt keep career profiles up-to-date.
This is one of the major mistakes several executives make when joining sites like BlueSteps. Forgetting to update your profile could cause executive recruiters to decide not to contact you due to missing qualifications or they could miss your profile completely.
executive_search_consultant_networkingBlueSteps members should update their profiles once a year or anytime their job changes (whichever comes first). Also, don’t forget to update your executive resume, since that information is also included in search results.

2. Thou shalt always be prepared.
Are you prepared for initial contact from an executive recruiter? You should always have the following prepared in case you receive the call:

  • Updated executive resume information
  • A brief summary of your current role and selling points based on current responsibilities
  • Readiness and willingness for full disclosure and a mindset of trust as it is all strictly confidential—the recruiter needs to know accurate information about you in order to best make a decision on whether or not you are a fit.
  • Accurate compensation details (knowledge of full package)
  • Openness to networking:  The recruiter might be calling you as a source, to see who you know and not work with you directly.  It is important to disclose contacts as it will help them and they will be open to helping you in the future.

3. Thou shalt ensure the executive recruiter is from a legitimate firm.
Here are a few ways to check out an executive search firm and make sure they are legitimate:

  • Ask if they are a contingency or retained search firm - Click here to read about the differences between the two.
  • Recruiting firms should not ask for payment. If they do, they are not a legit firm.
  • Research the firm on Google and Linkedin to see what others have to say about them.

4. Thou shalt remember the main goal of executive search consultants.
Remember, retained executive search consultants are looking to help their client (the hiring organization) find the best fit, not someone looking to help you find a job. If you’re not the right candidate for the position he or she called about, the consultant will let you know and continue searching for the right candidate. Don’t forget to refer back to commandment #2 and stay open to networking even if you’re not the right candidate for this specific opportunity.
5. Thou shalt be completely honest.
Many executives ask us if they should be honest about what their seeking, especially when it comes to compensation requirements and work history. If you are not honest, the executive recruiter will find out further down the process and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time. It will also help maintain your credibility with them and their colleagues/connections.


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