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13 Tips to Working with Executive Recruiters

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If you’re in a C-suite, senior management, or in a high-demand specialist role and are looking for a new job opportunity, one of your first steps should be to reach out to your existing Executive Recruiter or find one. In fact, you may want to network with several to get the best results.

What Executive Search Firm do I use?

There are some generalist firms that cover many different industries and others that specialize in certain industries. A google search will find you many different options. However, the best thing to do would be to find a colleague that has had a positive personal experience. 

Be careful to steer away from headhunters who are out to fill a monthly quota. There are a handful of executive recruiters who do not work on contingency, collecting a fee for every job filled. These firms tend to use recruitment research techniques and are much more interested in finding the right fit for their client’s work culture.

If you’re in a C-suite, senior management, or in a high-demand specialist role and are looking for a new job opportunity, one of your first steps should be to reach out to your existing Executive Recruiter or find one.Click To Tweet

Can I reach out to an Executive Recruiter to add my resume for future consideration?

Recruiters may create a profile for you and add you to their database if they are impressed with your resume. Don’t expect them to take too much time with you as their main focus is on finding candidates for the current positions they are looking to fill. 

Once you find a recruiter, here are 13 tips for working with them:

1. Networking, Networking, Networking

Do not overlook this one. Take the time to build a relationship with executive recruiters. If their current search doesn’t land you a new job, maybe their next one will if they have a positive experience and a good relationship with you. Interact with them via LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms that they are active on. Stay in touch by reaching out to them via email occasionally.

Guy and businesswoman talking in a job interview in an office

2. Nice to Meet You

If possible try to meet your recruiter in person or at least via a video call. Putting a face to a name obviously makes your interaction more personable. It also increases your chances of being remembered for future positions. 

3. Everything is Up to Date

Make sure that not only your resume is up to date, but all your social networks–SEO-friendly making you easy to find. 

4. Honesty is the Best Policy

Most recruiters do background checks so be sure you don’t exaggerate any of your past job experiences, education, credentials, or accomplishments. This shouldn’t have to be said, but always tell the truth during your interviews. If you want to keep a good reputation with your recruiter and their firm you don’t want a black eye from a half-truth or being dishonest. 

5. Are you a Good Fit?

Do your research about the company that is hiring and carefully consider if you are willing to change jobs, willing to relocate (if applicable), and are a good fit. This eliminates wasting both your and the recruiter’s time. There are also job review sites where you can check employee ratings and feedback.

6. Show Me the Money

Recruiters have a salary range to work with, but usually hold back and don’t offer the top salary first thing. Unless they start by letting you know that their offer is a maximum salary, be prepared to negotiate above their first offer. Other things to ask about and possibly negotiate are bonuses,  (signing, monthly, quarterly, annually), moving expenses (if applicable), vacation packages, and other perks. 

7. Don’t Oversell Yourself

Be sure to not put too many industry buzzwords in your resume and on your LinkedIn profile as this may be perceived as overdoing it. Of course, you want to be professional and use pertinent keywords. Get feedback from colleagues in your industry for their input.

8. Keep References Professional

Carefully select the references that you offer. You should only include professional relationships that you have and not family or friends. Are you sure that they will give you a positive reference? Check that you have their current contact details. Reach out to who you list as a reference to prepare them so that they may receive a reference request and thank them ahead of time.

9. Prepare to Impress

Be extra careful about not only making a good first impression, but continuing to impress throughout the process by timely communication, the utmost professionalism, and dressing appropriately for in-person or video interviews.

10. To Post or Not to Post

Always present yourself on social media knowing that potential future employers may view your past posts. You may need to go back and do an audit to delete prior posts.

Any social media posts with red flags can damage your chances of being considered for a position. 

11. Pass it On

If you are contacted about a position that you’re not interested in, but know of someone who would be a great fit, pass on the referral. You may become a valuable resource for potential referrals which strengthens your relationship with your recruiter.

12. What’s their Process?

Executive recruiters have their personal processes. Ask them when you can expect to hear back from them as well as what any follow-up communication and actions look like. 

13. Next, Getting the Offer

If you are offered an interview or, better yet, a job, that’s great. Be sure to do your own homework before accepting it.  If it’s not a good fit, be sure to let your recruiter know why you are rejecting it. This will help them build a profile for you in their database for what you are looking for.

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