There are a lot of misnomers about how a recruiter operates and how they can help you. If you sensibly manage your career (and so few do), a recruiter can bring deep value throughout your entire working life.
Ignore them at your peril, and don’t expect them to suddenly initiate a relationship with you. Recruiters and executive career coaches don’t want to know you when you’re in disaster mode, recently terminated and requiring urgent help. They want to know you when you’re driving successes and having fun in your work.
So, once you’ve established a relationship with a recruiter, email them every four to six months to share a STAR story (Situation, Task, Action, Results) about your latest assignment or achievement. It is while you’re in full employment that you can make the best impression and accurately portray your capabilities. A cardinal sin in career management is dropping relationships the day you land your job.
Executive recruiters normally specialize in particular industries and job titles. Search LinkedIn and Google to uncover those focused on your area of expertise. For the most senior level executives, the best place to find executive recruiters is Blue Steps.
Once you’ve identified a recruiter who is probably looking for someone like you, visit the Connections section of their LinkedIn profile and click on the Shared tab for your mutual connections. Then see if there is anyone who would be willing to introduce you. A referral is always the best form of introduction.
When building these relationships, one important thing to remember is that a recruiter doesn’t find jobs for you; they work for their clients at the other end of the transaction. A recruiter’s mandate is to go and source out the best talent available for that particular recruiting project.
This is why your LinkedIn profile should quite clearly portray your areas of expertise, supported by success-driven stories. To advance your candidacy and stand out from the competition, use all of the rich media options that LinkedIn now provides, such as SlideShare presentations and image files (infographics).
A day in the life of an executive recruiter is hectic. I have shadowed a couple of recruiters and it exhausts me to see how much they pack into a day. If you are on their radar for a particular project, they need to contact you quickly and not waste any time.
Here is a test for you: Log out of LinkedIn and search for your own profile. Is your contact information easy to find? Unfortunately, too often the answer is no. Keep the details in your “Contact” tab up to date, but also include your telephone number and email address at the top of your profile’s Summary section. That will be front and centre when your profile shows up in a recruiter’s online talent search.