The following is an excerpt from the BlueSteps Global Guide to Personal Branding for Executives. You can access your complimentary copy here.
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 next steps.
Below are three things you should avoid when making contact with search consultants:
Don’t send mass emails:
Many executives mistakenly think that volume over targeted outreach will work in their favor when networking with executive search consultants. It doesn’t. Sending mass emails is strongly discouraged and executive search consultants will spot a mass email immediately, dramatically reducing your chance of receiving a response. Make sure you create a targeted list of consultants to contact, and then explain why you would be interested specifically in working with them as an individual within your initial email.
Don’t ask search consultants to find you a role:
It’s important to understand and acknowledge that executive search consultants work for the employer, not the executive. Their client will always be their primary focus; and while they might keep you in mind should further opportunities arise, they will not be able to actively search for roles on your behalf.
Don’t ask search consultants for general career assistance and advice:
As mentioned above, executive search consultants work for their client, the employer, so it is not part of their role to review your resume, give general interview tips (unless they are putting you forward for a role), or to provide career advice. This should all be finalized prior to connecting with the search consultant. Don’t only seek to build relationships when you need them: Creating relationships with search professionals should be done at the earliest opportunity in your executive career. It’s much easier to engage with existing connections when you need them, than to start with a blank page if you have been unexpectedly laid off or have had to resign.