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Making connections within the executive search community can dramatically increase your professional options and skyrocket your career trajectory. But understanding the intricacies of executive networking can be a stumbling block for many executives.

If connecting with recruiters is your New Year’s Resolution, here are our top tips on how to put your best foot forward to make valuable, long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.

 

1. Build Your Network Before You Need It

I'm not sure if I'm a typical executive recruiter in saying this but I receive thousands of unsolicited resumes. Thousands. What does that mean for you? How can you stand out?

Retained executive recruiters work for companies to help find great talent for senior roles. At any given time, I am unlikely to be working on the exact role that you are looking for.

Given those realities, what part should executive recruiters play in your search for your next career chapter? Here's how to think about it:

First of all, consider a relationship with a recruiter as one that should play out over the course of your career, not just when you are in transition. Secondly, know that direct networking is often the most productive route in looking for a job.

Social selling – is a sales approach focused on the use of social media to identify prospects, develop and build relationships and, eventually, close a sale.

But can social selling get you closer to your career goal?  We believe that the principals of social selling are applicable to any executive job search strategy, making you simultaneously the sales person and “the product/ brand”.

With social recruiting at the center of any hiring process, your online presence has become more important than ever. That is why you shouldn’t leave anything to chance and take advantage of the social selling practices to reach your next executive position. Here’s how:

 

1. Build a strong, professional brand

The retained executive recruiter is like a casting director for the client. The recruiter wants to know: “Can I see putting the candidate on stage with the client?” Recruiters will have a handle on the organization’s leadership priorities and sensibilities but will be less able to speak about all the details of a job or organization—which you can learn from the hiring manager (if you make it onto that stage!). There is an aspect of long-term value to discussing a new position with a recruiter.

If the time has come to accelerate your career and you are ready for a change, chances are you’ve considered reaching out to executive search firms.

Partnering with executive search firms can be an excellent way to expedite your search and begin exploring opportunities, but it’s best to carefully plan your approach. Read on to discover some top tips to consider when reaching out to executive search firms.

Executive Search Firms

1. Make sure your resume reflects your fitness for precise future opportunities.

If you’re a leader or rising new talent accelerating in your career, chances are you've been approached by a recruiter. In our era of transparency, and with the rise of LinkedIn and other online professional networks, business leaders are more visible and more accessible than ever. While these platforms can be great for building your network and identifying new business ventures, they can also create confusion when approached by someone you don’t know regarding a new opportunity.

Executives who want to move to a new geographical area sometimes complain that they don’t have any good contacts in the targeted area. They assume, therefore, that they don’t have a strong launch-pad for their job search and post-job-search career progress. 

For any senior-level executive, networking and building relationships with executive recruiters should be a key part of your strategic career plan. As a member of BlueSteps, you have exclusive access to a comprehensive database of AESC member recruiters – but what is the best way to make contact or gain visibility from the search community?

Navigating executive search consultant networking can be a tricky business, so to help you put your best foot forward, here’s our top advice for those hoping to connect…

When seeking an executive role, relying on a single executive job search strategy–such as job ads–is akin to trying to get in shape merely by doing some sit-ups. Learn the executive job search equivalent of a full-body workout to maximize results. 

 

If you’re like me, summer vacation is long over, but you are still carrying around its remnants in the form of extra pounds. Returning to the gym after beach snoozing—stirring only for ice cream or Piña Coladas—can be brutal.

A strong relationship between executives and executive search consultants is one that helps both succeed in their career. For search consultants, this means having a strong network of executives who can act as sources and provide them with important market insights. To learn more about sourcing, we sat down with Rachel Roche, President of Smart Search and the AESC's consulting trainer for Researchers and Associates.