Is a new job on your New Year’s resolution list? Connecting with recruiters should be part of your job search strategy. Below you’ll find 6 ways you can put your best foot forward to carve out long lasting, mutually beneficial recruiter relationships.
1. Build Your Network Before You Need It
Make yourself known and respected by recruiters before you need to rely on them. Too many executives wait until they are in a professionally precarious situation before reaching out to search consultants, however it is much harder to build relationships with recruiters and showcase your worth when you’ve recently resigned, been laid off or are in the process of transition. When a recruiter calls, take the time to speak with them, offer to connect them with others in your network and demonstrate your value.
2. Make Your Networking Targeted, Selective and Focused
Recruiters can instantly spot which emails are generically written mass-emails that have been copy and pasted to a multitude of other recruiters, and which emails have been thoughtfully and specifically written for just for them. Do your research before reaching out to ensure that you are contacting a recruiter who specializes in your industry, function or region.
3. Prepare Your Career Documents Before You Begin Networking
If your resume is not up-to-date, highly optimized or written in a compelling way that demonstrates your skills, experience and value proposition, you could miss out on new opportunities and connections. Don’t make the recruiter wait while you redraft or send an inadequate resume. Prepare your documents in advance to create the right first impression.
4. Be Honest
If you are asked for a summary of your skills, strengths or weaknesses, don’t inflate, hide or spin your credentials and abilities. Help the recruiter to help you by providing an accurate, authentic, and transparent account of your career history, skills, aspirations and values.
5. Understand That You Are Not Their Client
Retained executive search means that the recruiter works specifically for the hiring organization, and not the candidate. As such, while recruiters can keep you in mind for when a role matching your skill set crosses their desk, they are not paid to actively find you a new position. Misunderstanding the relationship between the recruiter, the candidate and the client (the hiring organization) will create a negative first impression and harm your networking success.
6. Increase Your Visibility to the Search Community
By establishing yourself as an industry thought leader, you will increase the likelihood of appearing on the radar of executive recruiters. When the opportunity presents itself, speak at public events or participate in panel discussions – build your brand in any way that you can. Ensure your LinkedIn is up to date (you can access our complimentary LinkedIn guide for executives here), write articles and create videos that focus on highlighting your industry knowledge.