You’re ready to find your next opportunity. If you are a master job seeker, you have cultivated tons of strategic relationships, your resume looks great and your LinkedIn profile is up to date. But in the quest to cover all of the bases, you are curious about what an executive recruiter could do for you. This article is for you, and covers the basics of:
- What recruiters are and how they work
- How to evaluate the value of a recruiter to your job search
- How to make yourself stand out to a recruiter
What does an executive recruiter do?
An executive recruiter is hired by a company to address vacancies at the executive level. The recruiter may work on retainer or on a contingency basis (meaning they are only paid if they make a successful placement).
In order to be successful, an executive recruiter needs to have a deep knowledge of the industries for which they are sourcing and placing candidates. They must also build and maintain a diverse network of candidates who can fill the roles that are being offered by companies.
Recruiters know that often the best executive talent is not actively looking and therefore, much of their work involves researching and identifying candidates that are employed by competitor firms.
Can an executive recruiter help you?
You are always your biggest advocate in a job search, but that said, a relationship with the right executive recruiter can be advantageous.
First, it’s important to recognize that all recruiters are not equal. The best ones have areas of specialization. The trick is to work with a recruiter who knows the business you are in well, and can help connect you to the opportunities you want.
How to stand out to a recruiter
The simplest way to make sure you stand out to good recruiters is to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is complete and you’ve gone through carefully and considered all of the relevant keywords a recruiter might use to find you.
LinkedIn is one of the recruiter’s most essential tools for identifying potential candidates. Make sure to list all of your jobs, and all colleges attended. Think about the skills and capabilities that an employer might be looking for and make sure those terms are reflected in your profile.
Ask questions of a recruiter
Not every recruiter will be an asset to your job search, in order to find the one that will, it’s essential to ask questions and find a good fit.
A few questions to get you started:
- How long have you been in business?
- What is your specialty?
- Can you talk to me about your experiences working with candidates with my skill set?
The recruiter’s answers to these questions will tell you a lot about their expertise and ability to help you. You are looking for someone who understands your industry and can help connect you will strategic relationships in your industry.
Understand who the recruiter works for
Recruiters work for client companies and therefore their interests are aligned with getting the client company the best possible match in their candidate search. Though recruiters can be very helpful to candidates and sometimes find them superlative opportunities, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, a recruiter’s primary interest in going to be in getting their client companies what they need. They may be considering factors you are unaware of, and have information they cannot share with you. If you keep this in mind, you will be in a good position to maximize your chance of success.
Play the long game
You may already be well aware that in your job search, “it’s all about who you know,” but don’t neglect this adage in cultivating a fruitful relationship with an executive recruiter. Remember, we’re out there every day, building relationships with companies and candidates.
We are happy when candidates work to keep their materials current, present a professional appearance and interview well. What’s more, we remember them when the next great opportunity comes up. So don’t be afraid to keep in touch with a recruiter you connect with. It will ensure you are top of mind for us — and for our client companies when there is a good fit.