It’s a misnomer that executive recruiters manage your career. They don’t! However, they can play a constructive role in your career advancement, as long as you take steps to retain their attention.
An active executive recruiter with a large client base can be involved in up to six or seven projects (talent searches) consecutively, and can receive upwards of 50 resumes a day. Put yourself in their shoes. Even if they provided a cursory five-minute phone call to each of those job searchers, that would consume their whole day.
The ideal scenario is for a recruiter to find you. Ensure that your social media activity is consistent and professional, so when they conduct their research, you will appear on their radar (for more suggestions, see how to get yourself headhunted).
Recruiters work for their clients, not you (learn more about the recruitment process). However, if an executive recruiter does call you, never miss out on that opportunity to either speak with them on the phone or meet them in person. The relationship you build can be worth gold to your career management.
If a recruiter calls with a specific appointment in mind and you don’t believe you are the perfect candidate, or the timing isn’t right, try and provide them with some referrals. They will remember you for this courtesy, and for making their job easier!
Once you have established a rapport with an executive recruiter, work hard to retain that relationship, even if you are gainfully employed. Once every four months, email every connection you made during your previous transition, just to keep your name in their mind. Update them on your career status, and include an achievement-driven story.
Above all, don’t pester an executive recruiter, or be despondent if they don’t reply. They’re not ignoring you; they’re doing their job.