If you are considering contacting an executive search consultant via email, there’s good news. More than 80% of recruiters prefer to receive an emailed resume before having an actual phone conversation with a candidate. However, to ensure that your message gets read and elicits a response, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

1. Pay attention to your subject line.
Use a subject line that clearly states the purpose of your email. For example “Jeff Jones Resume” does not convey anything meaningful.  Instead try “C-Level Telecommunications Executive” – right away the search consultant knows what your message is about, and is more likely to open and read it.

2. Leverage common connections.
If you have been referred to the executive search consultant by a coworker, former employer, mutual acquaintance, etc., say so upfront. A simple “Mark Jones suggested I reach out to you regarding potential opportunities in the SaaS space” immediately provides the reader with a point of reference, a common connection, and makes your message that much more of a priority.

3. Mention your key achievements and show why you are qualified.
Don’t just send a short message expressing interest in a specific set of opportunities, assuming that your resume will tout your achievements for you. If your first few lines do not convey your executive brand, the attached resume may never get opened. You shouldn’t write a long and detailed summary of your career here, but do include a couple of sentences that highlight your most relevant experience and accomplishments. Give the executive search consultant enough information in the body of the email to make him or her want to pick up the phone and call you right away.

4. Convey enthusiasm and a sense of who you are.
While you do need to keep the initial email relatively brief, there is no reason for your introduction to be dry. Don’t be afraid to infuse your message with personality. What attracted you to your industry in the first place? What changes are most exciting to you? Is there a particular corporate culture that fits best with your leadership style? Include elements like these in your note.

5. Use an email signature.
Make sure that your signature looks professional. Include your full name, mobile number, email address, and LinkedIn URL. And while it is not necessary to do anything fancy in terms of formatting, consider bolding your name or perhaps using a larger font than the rest of the signature. It is important that your sign-off looks polished and consistent with the rest of your brand.

Here are a few additional tips from BlueSteps for contacting executive search consultants through their International Search Consultant Directory:

  • Do not send a mass email of your resume to all search consultants in the Search Firm Directory.
  • Instead, send a short, personal email to a select number of search consultants that specialize in your industry, function and region. This should be a total of 4-6 consultants.
  • Keep your introduction brief and to the point. Be concise about what you want from the consultant.
  • Remember that a retained search consultant works for the hiring organization - not you!
  • Let the consultant know what you can do to help THEM - networking is a two way street.
  • Attach a resume in PDF format


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