This is part one of a two-part series of networking with executive consultants. This is an excerpt from our free guide “Global Guide to Personal Branding for Executives”
Building and maintaining relationships with executive search consultants should be a vital component of your career strategy. Regardless of whether you are in an active job search or just proactively managing your career’s next steps, this is crucial for your success. For executives who are new to executive search, it can be difficult to know where to start, but there are several essential dos and don’ts that can help you on your way.
Before networking with executive search consultants, you should assess all your career marketing documents and online presence, including your resume or CV, LinkedIn profile, executive bio, and cover letter. It’s important to make sure that these documents are in order because, in case you’re considered for a search, you’ll need to provide this information immediately. You should also take time to understand exactly what you are looking for and how to articulate these career goals to others.
When developing your networking strategy, it’s best to create a targeted list of carefully chosen consultants who are specialists in your industry, function, and region. Once you have identified consultants in these areas - this should total around four to six consultants - you can then begin your outreach.
Make a Strong First Impression
When sending your initial correspondence to your target consultant, make sure you keep your introduction concise and straight to the point. You should aim to introduce yourself with a short paragraph explaining your interest in connecting and then four to five bullet points on what you are looking for. Professional achievements that would be of interest to them should be included as well.
Use Your Existing Network
Like with any form of networking, being introduced by a mutual connection can have its advantages. If you know of someone who could personally refer you to a search consultant, it might be in your interest to do so. Your existing connection could also provide you with further advice on how to connect with search consultants in general.
Many executive search consultants participate in industry events and seminars both as speakers and attendees. By researching events that your target search consultants are attending in your location, you could join that audience and gain the opportunity to get an in-person introduction
Make the Relationship Mutually Beneficial
If you are contacted by a search consultant for a position that you don’t think is a good match for you, think about suggesting others in your network for the role. This will further endorse you as a useful and well-connected source, which will work in your favor in the future.
Download the entire guide “Global Guide to Personal Branding for Executives”