How to become an active job search participant in the hunt for new career opportunities
If you want to grab the attention of the most aggressive executive recruiters, turn your attention inward at your own impressive skills and work history. Then, use a broad stroke approach to highlight them, starting with a professionally printed resume that works well in conjunction with your online business profile. The job market is notoriously unpredictable, so no matter what your reason for wanting to land in the crosshairs of a headhunter’s aim, you need to first keep in mind that executive search firms work for companies looking to fill high-level positions, ones that are not typically advertised through average channels. You are hoping to get access to an elite job market that operates behind the curtain, so to speak. These “head hunters” are the way to get behind that curtain into a new world of job search and career possibilities.
If you made the very most of your skill set and have been very good at your job, your own success will lead the way towards getting noticed by recruiters, as your solid reputation will precede you. But you may not want just ANY executive recruiter’s efforts because some can be, shall we say, “shady”, with the potential to stretch truths to meet their quotas. A lot of recruiters earn a low base salary, not getting paid unless they land a placement. This means that the ones with poor ethics will pretty much do whatever it takes to make that placement, including telling you that your next interview is with a rising corporation when in fact, it is with a company that may not be worthy of your professional stature.
So how can you pick out recruiters who operate ethically? Be the leader and the ultimate decision maker in your own journey towards new business opportunities. Jeff Robey, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice-President, based in Florida, advises that you ask questions before putting your hopes into the efforts of any executive recruiter to find your new job. Jeff offers this guidance, “Ask the recruiter for references and don’t accept just one, ask for six references. Go ahead and contact them to find out how their experience was. Ask questions to find out telling information such as how long it took for the recruiter to produce results and if, in the end, the recruiter found the ideal position for them.”
There was some research done in the early 2000s (Goleman) with results that prove true today. 181 jobs at 121 organizations worldwide revealed three abilities that are “vital” for on-the-job success. They were referred to as emotional competencies and they are “self-awareness”, “social awareness” and “adaptability”. Also mentioned as a major benefit was “a talent for collaboration”. Since you are at the executive level in your career, certainly you possess these characteristics and executive recruiters who are professionally trained to evaluate your talent should be able to identify and “sell” these skills for you, at the start.
Now that you know what to look for in a recruiting firm, here are four easy ways to build your personal brand and grab the attention of executive recruiters:
1. Get Printed: The power of the printed word cannot be emphasized enough. Too many studies support its positive effects and executive search firms will take notice if you are quoted in the media or if you write something for a strong industry publication. Stay on top of current events and new developments and if you find yourself with an opinion to share on a business topic, write a letter to an editor of a newspaper to raise your profile and be perceived as an authority.
2. Find a platform and give a speech: Business networking events of all kinds are excellent venues for making your voice heard and getting your name out there for needed publicity. Speaking at a conference through an industry association and becoming part of a panel at these events will only help your cause.
3. Increase Networking: Spread your name and reputation around generously among the right people at seminars, conferences and within your own company while you are employed. Build your professional social network profile and stay active on it, expanding your network and your visibility.
4. Stay open even when still employed: Connect with a reputable executive recruiting firm while you are still employed at the executive level and always keep your options open, building a rapport with them. The search firm might come to see you as a reliable figure if they elect to call you for an opinion, perhaps, of a former colleague – a perfect chance to get in nicely with a headhunter. They will appreciate your help and remember you favorably.
Professional Advice on Best Approaches to Getting Noticed by Recruiters
As successful entrepreneurs who own a design, digital print and marketing franchise, Jody and Goroh Numata, of Minuteman Press in Houston, TX, are frequently advising people on best approaches to update their work profiles through all channels and get noticed. Goroh warns against expecting the recruiter to do all of the work for you, advising you stay on top of the search for the right career move. He shares, “By all means, do your research and welcome the leads of recruiters once you update your business profile in print and online, but keep your options open. Finding networking opportunities may be as easy as getting involved with your child’s PTA, or volunteering at a non-profit or other social organization. You may even find opportunities to deploy your experience in a different career path.”
Some executive recruiting firms are available as industry specialists and some as general search firms covering a wide range of industries. It might help to decide to cater towards industry specialists if your skill set is specific. In this case, having some friends in high places who respect you and will vouch for your abilities will help to build your credibility and help you get noticed by a specialized executive recruiter. A senior mentor in your current or former company with whom recruiters are familiar and respect is a valuable third party endorsement.
Jim Galasso, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice-President for the NY/NJ/CT region of the U.S., advises reaching out to headhunters for assistance in seeking new or bigger career opportunities. He says, “With their large databases of possible candidates, these executive recruiters need to know you are out there and talented. Don’t just send a resume out and leave it at that. Research and seek the firms that are specific to your field and email or send a letter introducing yourself and describing your skills. Then, call them to discuss possibilities, sharing anything extra you may have done like written pieces that have been published.”
Getting the Right Kind of Attention Will Yield the Right Results for You
No matter if you are currently employed or if you have been laid off at the executive level, getting the right attention from the right executive recruiters means holding them to a standard that includes ethics and, ultimately, results. If they do not produce results for you after two or three tries, remain open to other recruiters with whom you can have a more beneficial connection. Choose someone who meets the proper qualifications but someone who also appeals to you, someone you can trust. Excellent headhunters have access to a behind-the-scenes job market but it is important that you remain at the head of your own hunt for a new career opportunity because you have the most at stake and you must align your skill set and motivation with the particular opportunities that most appeal to you. It is, after all, your new business horizon to be found and explored, so find an honest, productive, industry specific recruiter, but remain at the helm of your new professional destiny and the future will be limitless.
Contact your local Minuteman Press franchise for more helpful job search tips, professional advice and assistance with printed products and services to make your personal brand stand out.
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