It’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right? This is certainly true in recruitment. Many senior level recruiters and executive headhunters have an easily accessible pool of high quality candidates. If you’re not in that pool, then you’re making your executive job search a whole lot harder. So how can you, as a senior level candidate, build strong relationships with executive recruiters and headhunters?
Strengthen your online network
The internet is a whirlpool of candidates just waiting to pounce on that ideal new role, and you need to make sure you’re in the race! 92% of recruiters use social media to find high-quality candidates. Therefore, social and digital platforms are the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your skills, experience and knowledge when used effectively. Recruiters check your online presence as soon as they read your CV. In fact, with professionals and businesses connecting on online career networks, such as LinkedIn, your social profiles might even be the first thing they see.
Build up your social media presence with avenues such as Twitter, SlideShare and publishing on LinkedIn to create your own personal brand that reflects your work standard and personality as much as you can. In knowing yourself and how you serve others, you’ll shape your online presence to represent you authentically. You will want to have conversations in real-time; share useful content; and write compelling articles for maximum impact. As your presence grows, you’ll gain influence that comes from earned credibility and trust. Recruiters will call you.
Tailor your curriculum vitae/resumé
Updating your CV is often the difference between getting that all-important interview or being thrown into the ‘no’ pile and forgotten. So what do recruiters want to see in your CV?
Firstly, keep it brief. Recruiters have limited time and they want to see clear, concise CVs that are to the point. Your CV should be somewhere between 2 and 4 pages long. Now make your accomplishments stand out. Quantify your achievements. How did you affect the bottom-line? Talk about the things that have made you a better candidate for this exact job. Tailor your skills and experiences to show how you will fit the job in hand. Show how your personal aspirations line up with theirs. Use positive language and keywords and carefully consider formatting to ensure that when the recruiter is scanning your CV they will see the words they want to read.
Be (even more) prepared!
Even if you think you are well prepared, your recruiter and potential employer might think differently. Recruiters often meet candidates who consider themselves to be well-prepared –and they disagree!
Develop your self-awareness. Make an effort to learn about your blind spots; your own strengths and weaknesses; and how other people see you. Seek honest feedback from friends, family, colleagues, etc.
Make sure you have researched relevant companies that you want to connect with. Research the executives that already work there -the skills they have, the qualifications and experience that helped get them the job. Consider the strengths and weaknesses of the business and make sure you understand the key competencies you might need. Why would the business benefit from hiring you? Prove you are the right executive for the role!
Then, be ready and waiting for a recruiter’s call. And when it comes…
Take a risk
It’s too easy to feel settled in the job you’re in –it’s safe and secure; it’s what you know. But, you never know what a recruiter might have to offer you. What if it’s a better way to achieve your personal goals or develop your executive career? One call could change your life for the better.
Be ready to talk and develop a relationship with a recruiter for the benefit of your future job satisfaction. Even if you don’t immediately feel that this opportunity is quite right for you, be curious and find out more; develop that relationship with the recruiter and you could be pleasantly surprised. Recruiters are an invaluable connection to employers. They know what’s happening in an industry before most and where the next vacancy will be. So always welcome opportunities to speak with recruiters. Keep an open mind; you never know what could happen!