Year round, business newspapers and trade organisations publish annual reports of top performers and rising stars, but who gets chosen for such awards? Some nominations come from top performing CEO’s who reach the newspaper headlines, however, many more high-performance executives are featured due to connections with top headhunters and executive recruiters.

Journalists use executive recruiters, the gatekeepers of the top executive positions, to gather recommendations for perhaps less publicly known but equally talented industry-driving executives.


Gathering these suggestions, award committees and journalists then weigh up the options and publish their choices in annual highly read reports of the top national or international executive superstars.

With a place among the world’s best, and a full-page profile promoting career achievements, these executives gain invaluable exposure to executive recruiters and industry colleagues, who are no doubt positively influenced by the glowing reports.

One executive I spoke to described industry awards as essential to his career management strategy and status in the industry, receiving unprecedented interest and expansive networking opportunities following publication.

Having high profile contacts come to you is any networker’s dream.   

Such publicity, however, is not out of sight or restricted to a chosen few. Instead, executives must continual build and maintain relationships with executive search consultants, while conducting a successful personal PR campaign. To put it simply, get your name known to industry leaders.

The usual tactics apply; manage your online presence carefully, get published in industry publications, frequent industry meet-ups and create your own, build connections with your peers and offer yourself as a speaker.

Don’t expect instant results and continual mentions / interactions are essential, but soon you will find yourself communicating with top journalists and well-connected executive recruiters. And when in that situation, answer every question and return every call.



This article was written by Christian Pielow from the Association of Executive Search Consultants (AESC).

BlueSteps is the exclusive service of the AESC that puts senior executives on the radar screen of over 6,000 executive search professionals in over 70 countries. Be visible, and be considered for up to 50,000 opportunities handled by AESC search firms every year. Find out more at


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