Many executives fail to see the importance of building relationships with executive search consultants at times when they don’t immediately need their help. However, when an executive requires executive search assistance later in their career, it can be difficult to make a connection that is mutually beneficial to both parties.

In order to make sure that you can rely on the support from the executive search community when you need it, there are several pitfalls you need to avoid…

1. Misunderstanding the relationship between the executive and the search consultant

For executive search consultants, the hiring company is their client. This means that while they may do their best to help executives looking for new opportunities, their responsibility is with the hiring firm. Therefore, if you would like to be considered for new opportunities it is vital to establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the executive search consultant.

If an executive search consultant sends you an email regarding an opportunity that you are not presently interested it, rather than ignoring the email, it would be advantageous to assist the search consultant by suggesting someone in your network who may be interested. They are likely to remember this and return the favor when you are open to new professional opportunities. It is predicted that modern professionals will change jobs more than seven times in their career, making it more than likely that you will eventually require executive search assistance at some point in your life.

2. Not knowing what they want

Often executives feel the need to network with search consultants, and begin calling executive search consultants without first reflecting on what they want to achieve. Being proactive when it comes to building relationships is vital, but so is having an executive career strategy with a well-thought-out end goal. They can only help you achieve your aim if you know what your aim is.

3. Being underprepared

After initial networking, executive search consultants may ask to see your executive resume/CV, executive bio and your cover letter. Make sure that you have all these documents in order and up-to-date as part of your executive career strategy. More than 80% of executive search consultants will Google your name before making contact with you, so as your LinkedIn is more than likely to be the first search result, make sure that your LinkedIn is effectively written and consistent with your other personal branding documents.

4. Targeting the wrong people

Recruiters know when they are being sent a mass email, and will not usual respond to them. You will improve your chances of a return call if you target search consultants who are relevant and specialize in your industry or function. Take time to do your research on who could be most useful to you, and you will achieve more success.


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