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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.

There is little doubt in my mind that one of the most frustrating moments in life is when we realize that we need to find another job, or when we suddenly find ourselves without one. The sense of urgency is high, and the world just seems to move a bit slower when we need it to move a bit quicker. It's at that moment in time when people reach out to everyone they trust to ask for leads and the names of known executive recruiters to help them get a new job. That's when most people realize that executive recruiters are not exactly aligned with the immediate needs of job seekers as they are with the potential candidates their clients seek.  If you think job seekers, candidates, and clients are the same, keep reading.